The sister of slain Israeli student Aiia Maasarwe has opened up about the devestating moment she learned her sister had been allegedly raped and murdered – as police reveal what led to the accused killer’s arrest.
Noor Maasarwe said her 21-year-old sister often feared for her life and never felt safe while walking home on the stretch of road where her body was found in the northern Melbourne suburb of Bondoora on Wednesday.
The road was dimly lit and every night Aiia called her older sister as she walked home, Noor said.
Noor broke down on Sunday as she described Aiia as a beautiful soul who always put a smile on people’s faces.
The sister of slain Israeli student Aiia Maasarwe (pictured) recalled details of the chilling phone call they shared minutes before her alleged rape and murder
Ruba Maasarwe (left) the sister of murdered Israeli student Aiia Maasarwe (right) has detailed the chilling FaceTime call they shared before she was allegedly raped and murdered – which cut off to the sound of ‘yelling and shouting’
Noor Maasarwe said her 21-year-old sister often feared for her life and never felt safe while walking home on the stretch of road where her body was found
She told Nine News she found out the 21-year-old had allegedly been killed on the news.
‘I (saw) in the news that they found a body. They didn’t say who it was,’ Noor said.
‘But it matches all the details. It was on the same road. Everything. I was just praying that it’s not her.
‘But then I saw the shoes and her phone … and I was sure it was her.’
Aiia was on the phone with her other sister, Ruba Maasarwe, when she was allegedly attacked.
Ruba has since revealed details of their late-night call.
‘We spoke on the phone on FaceTime. We spoke about the stand-up comedy she saw and when we would next meet,’ Ruba told Israeli TV station Channel 13.
‘Suddenly I heard her scream. I heard vehicles in the background of the call like there was a phone on the floor.
‘There was no sign during the conversation of the horror about to happen.
‘I heard her screaming and screaming and then the call was cut off.’
Ruba Maasarwe’s recounting of her late-night safety call came after homeless rapper Codey Herrmann (pictured), 20, faced court on Saturday charged with killing her sister
Ms Maasarwe had spent the night at a comedy club before boarding the 86 tram from Bourke Street, heading to her home in Bundoora. She left the tram around midnight. Her body was discovered in scrub, nearby, the next day
Noor (pictured) broke down on Sunday as she described Aiia as a beautiful soul who always put a smile on people’s faces
Aiia’s body was found half-naked near the Polaris Shopping Centre on Wednesday morning after she was allegedly attacked while walking home the night before.
The 21-year-old had moved to Melbourne on a one-year exchange program to study at La Trobe University.
Aspiring rapper Codey Herrmann, 20, faced court charged with the alleged rape and murder of the Israeli exchange student.
Herrmann was arrested after the ‘outstanding’ work of a Melbourne police officer who recognised a distinctive hat and T-shirt from the scene of the death.
In a bid to track down Aiia’s killer, police released images of clothing they believed was left behind – a ‘1986’ cap and two-toned grey t-shirt.
A local leading senior constable remembered he stopped a man wearing the exact clothing four days earlier, The Age reported.
Within an hour, the officer and a senior detective found and arrested Herrmann.
A vigil service was held outside the same centre where her body was found on Sunday, during which hundreds of people stood in solidarity with her father, Saaed.
A vigil service was held outside the Polaris shopping centre where the body of slain Israeli student Aiia Maasarwe was found
Hundreds of people gathered in the northern Melbourne suburb of Bundoora on Sunday as a tribute to the 21-year-old
A makeshift memorial was set up where her body was found on Main Drive with flowers and candles laid by members of the public
Ms Maasarwe’s father Saaed was also at the tribute where he thanked many for their attendance
A makeshift memorial was set up where her body was found on Main Drive, covered in flowers and notes for the Israeli student.
The Facebook page for the event pleaded attendees to come with a ‘peaceful mindset’.
‘This Sunday we ask you to come and pay respect, ensure we peacefully make it quite clear this kind of act and violent behaviours of others will no longer be tolerated with our or any other community,’ read the description for the event.
Meanwhile, thousands gathered in Israel, pleading for Ms Maasarwe’s body to be brought home.
The Facebook page for the event pleaded attendees to come with a ‘peaceful mindset’
Miss Maasarwe, 21, was attacked while walking home to her accommodation in Melbourne after a comedy show on Tuesday night
At the same time as Aiia’s memorial, thousands of people also took to the streets of Sydney for the annual Women’s March.
Protesters gathered in the CBD as a symbol of change and solidarity, drawing awareness to the issue of violence against women.
The March started in 2017 in response to Donald Trump becoming president and has become an annual event ever since.
Protesters gathered in the CBD as a symbol of change and solidarity, drawing awareness to the issue of violence against women
Several thousand people have marched through Sydney’s streets, demanding they be made safe for women following the murder of Aiia Masaarwe
The March started in 2017 in response to Donald Trump becoming president and has become an annual event ever since
Women’s March Sydney lead organiser Megan Date said they are trying to continue the momentum of the first two years
This year’s Women’s march Sydney began in Hyde Park at 11.30am and finished at Belmore Park
Women’s March Sydney lead organiser Megan Date said they are trying to continue the momentum of the first two years.
‘We’re focusing this year on the crisis of violence against women and girls. We’ll be supporting the Safe State initiative, which is a list of 49 policy recommendations to address and end family and domestic violence in New South Wales, developed by front line workers and experts,’ Ms Date said in a statement.
She said that the group feel the number – 69 – of women who died at the hands of their male partner in 2018 is unacceptable.
‘We want more attention on this issue from our community and political leaders. One death is one too many,’ she said.
This year’s Women’s march Sydney began in Hyde Park at 11.30am and finished at Belmore Park.
THE MURDER OF AIIA MAASARWE
Tuesday January 15
Aiia was at the The Comic’s Lounge in North Melbourne
11pm: Her friends dropped her to the tram stop
Aiia caught the 86 tram from a Bourke Street stop, heading home
Midnight: Aiia got off the tram in Bundoora, about a kilometre from her home
Wednesday January 16
7am: Aiia’s body is found in scrub near the tram stop and the Polaris shopping centre
Friday January 18
11am: Homeless self-described aspiring rapper Codey Herrmann, 20, is arrested at a park rotunda in Greensborough, 10km from the crime scene
Aiia’s father Saeed said he ‘dreamed to be with’ his daughter and looked at tributes left at the crime scene in her memory
Saturday January 19
Her father Saaed meets Prime Minister Scott Morrison and says he does not hold ‘hatred’ towards her killer or wishes for revenge
Herrmann is charged with Aiia’s rape and murder and faces court for the first time
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