Aussie woman’s final moments recorded in call before her rape, murder

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An Australian woman was raped and murdered while hiking alone in Eastern Europe — and a friend she called in the US heard her terrifying final moments as she yelled at her attacker.

Shanae Brooke Edwards, 31, of Melbourne, who taught English in the former Soviet country of Georgia, was hiking on Mount Mtatsminda overlooking the capital of Tbilisi on Friday when she was assaulted, news.com.au reported.

Edwards called a friend in California and screamed for help during the deadly attack, according to the Australian news outlet, which cited a NCA NewsWire report about a document prepared by a search party.

“Please let me go, OK … just let me go,” she was heard screaming at her assailant before the call was cut off, according to the report.

The Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs has launched an investigation into what it described as a premeditated murder, according to local news outlet Agenda.ge.

Shanae Edwards.
Shanae Edwards called a friend in California and screamed for help during the attack.
Instagram

Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri said officials have “some information about the alleged murderer,” including the fact that the person is a Georgian national, according to the report.

“The ministry and police officers are doing their best to find the murderer,” Gomelauri said, adding that “I cannot talk about it due to the interests of the investigation.”

Edwards’ friend Natalia Karikh raised the alarm after the teacher went missing.

“SOS!!! HELP!!! Friend is missing in Tbiilsi,” Karikh wrote on the Facebook group Expats in Tbilisi, according to Newsweek. “Everyone who lives in Tbilisi please come tomorrow 7am and later.”

Mtatsminda Park.
Officials have said the alleged murderer is a Georgian national.
Alamy Stock Photo

Karikh also urged others to reach out to her if they “saw something weird or heard [a] woman screaming at the trails under Mtatsminda Park around 4:30p.m. on Friday.”

Other friends posted tribute for the slain woman, whom they described as kind and free spirited.

Shanae Edwards.
“Please let me go, OK … just let me go,” Shanae Edwards was heard screaming at her assailant before the call was cut off.
Instagram

“I never told you how dear you were to me.. One of the truest people I ever known. The warmest friend anyone can ever find. A beautiful soul, noone would dare to doubt. You didn’t deserve to go like this,” Lina Kha wrote on Instagram.

“But I’m glad I had a chance to spend some moments with you. You are forever in my mind. Anytime I’d ride a bike and play in my head ‘Taking a ride with my best friend’ by Depeche, anytime I’d see an adorable Georgian house, anytime I’d stand on a top of a hill and see beautiful nature — I’d see you,” she added.

Another friend wrote: “You were the strongest woman I know, an incredible human being, always the life of the party, always radiant and positive no matter what life threw at you,” news.com.au reported.

“My heart is heavy with sadness to know she has left us. I know she will be greatly missed and I send my deepest condolences to her family during this tragic time,” another said. “I feel truly honored to have crossed paths with such an incredible woman.”

Shanae Edwards.
“You were the strongest woman I know, an incredible human being,” one friend wrote.
Instagram

On Tuesday, Kha posted images of several kittens that her friend had been taking care of and sought volunteers to adopt them.

“As Shanae Brooke’s friends already mentioned here, she was taking care of 4 kittens and their mom cat from the streets. Shanae helped this cat that came to her house to give birth,” she wrote on Facebook in a post that was deleted Tuesday.

Ross Thompson, one of Edwards’ colleagues, paid tribute to his “incredible” friend.

Shanae Edwards.
“I never told you how dear you were to me,” a friend grieved about Shanae Edwards.
Facebook

“She probably lived more life in 31 years than many live in 80 years, and she probably positively impacted more people in that time than many, many other people do in their whole lives,” he wrote about Edwards, who had been traveling the world since leaving Australian in 2016, The Sun reported.

A spokesperson from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said: “The Australian Government offers its deepest condolences to the family of an Australian woman whose death is being investigated by authorities in Tbilisi, Georgia.”

The official said an officer from the Australian Embassy in Turkey, accredited to Georgia, had traveled to Tbilisi to work with Georgian authorities.

“DFAT is providing consular assistance to the woman’s family. Owing to our privacy obligations we will not provide further detail,” the spokesman added.

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