Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Shanae Edwards: Man arrested for murder of Australian woman in Georgia

A month after Australian Shanae Edwards was found dead overseas, a man was arrested for allegedly killing her.

A man has been arrested for the murder of Australian woman Shanae Edwards, who was found dead in the eastern European country Georgia more than a month ago.

Ms. Edwards, a 31-year-old from Melbourne who had been teaching English in Georgia, disappeared on July 30 after hiking in Mtatsminda Park in Tbilisi’s capital city. She was last seen at a popular starting point for hikes, across from the Church of Mikhail of Tver.

She is believed to have left her home at about 3:35pm. An hour later, a friend who lives in the United States received a panicked phone call from Ms. Edwards in which she “screamed for help” and asked someone to “please let me go”.

 A search party found her body the next day.

Overnight, Georgia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs announced it had arrested a “Georgian citizen residing in Tbilisi” for the “premeditated murder” of Ms. Edwards. The accused man has been identified only by the initials R.M. and his birth year, 1988.

He could face up to 15 years in prison.

The Ministry also described the steps investigators took to identify the alleged culprit.

“In the afternoon of July 31, as a result of intensive search operations, the body of a young woman was found with traces of violence,” it said.

“The investigator for the Ministry of Internal Affairs inspected the scene and the body of the deceased, with the involvement of forensic experts, in the course of which several items relevant to the case and biological traces were obtained. The weapon of the crime, a knife, was also seized by law enforcement in a damaged condition.

“After inspecting the crime scene, the body was transferred to Levan Samkharauli National Forensics Bureau, where relevant body examination was conducted. Items and genetic traces extracted from the scene underwent several examination procedures, including physical, traceological, genetic, and fingerprint examinations.

“More than 200 people were interviewed, including friends, co-workers, neighbors of the deceased woman, as well as people employed and present in Mtatsminda Park on the day of the crime. Based on their information, to identify the offender, a composite sketch was created, which was sent to all operative units.

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