A 21-year-old man has been charged with the “disturbing” murder of a 48-year-old woman, which took place at Hoppers Crossing on Thursday. The woman, Prasad Somawansa, was found dead at her house on Barber Drive. The body was discovered by paramedics, just after 9:30pm on Thursday.
Homicide detectives arrested Sigaragh Baea on Saturday afternoon. He was charged with one count of murder. According to The VicPolice News, the man faced an overnight out-of-court sessions hearing at Melbourne West police station, before he was taken in custody to face Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Sunday.
Baea’s application for bail was denied.
Homicide Squad Detective Senior Sergeant Stuart Bailey said it became clear that Somawansa was killed within a short period of time, moments after her 21-year-old son left the house on a call-out with the State Emergency Services.
The victim’s body was taken to the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine for an autopsy. According to the Herald Sun, Homicide Squad Detective Senior Constable Joseph Strachan said that the victim had received extensive upper body wounds.
The woman’s husband is a truck driver, who left Melbourne for Brisbane on Wednesday, while leaving his wife with their son. The son is a medical student and an SES volunteer, who went out on an emergency call to a “police incident” related to a scuffle.
The family of the victim, moved from Sri Lanka in 1999. Neighbours described Somawansa as a quiet, loving and good woman.
In 2013, another woman was assaulted while she was walking through a reserve in Hoppers Crossing. The female victim was able to escape the perpetrator, says Victims of Crime.
According to The Age, Hoppers Crossing is Melbourne’s most burgled suburb, with about 12 homes being hit every week. The neighbourhood is located in the middle of a nexus of working-class suburbs that are high on property crime in the city of Melbourne.