The devastated father of an Israeli student who was murdered on the way home from a night out has spoken out after a 20-year-old man was arrested over the killing.
Aiia Maasarwe, 21, was killed in the north Melbourne suburb of Bundoora after getting off a tram on Tuesday night, and her partially naked body was found in parkland near a shopping centre on Wednesday morning.
Ms Maasarwe’s heartbroken father Saeed broke down and cried while speaking to reporters at the spot where her body was found on Friday.
Through tears, Mr Maasawe thanked the Melbourne community for rallying around his family.
‘This has given me a good feeling,’ he said. ‘But also in another way I am sad because this is the last place my daughter was – I have dreams to be with her but cannot now.
‘Someone had decided I cannot be (with her). I wish, I hope, I pray she is in a more nice place than this place in paradise.’
The father revealed he had originally planned to come later in January to visit his daughter, who was studying at La Trobe University.
Mr Maasarwe also inspected the tributes left to his daughter at the crime scene and was pictured crying as he admired them.
Earlier on Friday, the 20-year-old man was arrested in Greensborough at a picnic shelter positioned close to a children’s park which is a known hang out for youths to smoke drugs.
He was found by police in a shelter with a woman and a group of young men.
Neighbours said they saw plain clothes and uniformed police arrest the man about 11.20am after approaching him while he was in a rotunda at Pioneer Park.