International media have identified a woman found dead near a tram stop in Melbourne’s north as an Israeli student aged in her 20s.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz named the student as Aia Masarwe, who was in Melbourne on a study program.
Passers-by discovered a body in scrub near a tram stop close to a shopping centre at Bundoora on Wednesday morning.
Homicide detectives say it is likely Ms Masarwe had been travelling on the route 86 tram from Docklands overnight.
“We are treating it as suspicious. It’s apparent or it seems that the female has been assaulted,” Inspector Andrew Stamper told reporters near the scene on Wednesday.
Haaretz reported that Ms Masarwe was studying at Shanghai University, and spent the past several months in Melbourne on a study-abroad program, according to her uncle Abed Katane.
Her father has left Israel for Melbourne in a bid to co-ordinate her body’s return home, Mr Katane told the newspaper.
Officers are expected to further canvass nearby residents on Thursday to determine how Ms Masarwe died and what led to her body being left near the tram stop.
“We would ask for anyone that may have dashcam footage, CCTV or may have seen anything here that could be a small piece in the jigsaw puzzle to contact Crimestoppers,” Insp Stamper said.
Detectives are keen to speak to anyone who travelled on the route 86 tram, particularly between 11pm on Tuesday and 1am on Wednesday.
Police are investigating all lines of inquiry, including whether the attack was random and if Ms Masarwe was followed.