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The final moments of an Australian woman living abroad in Eastern Europe were captured in audio when she phoned her friend in California during the attack that left her dead over the weekend.
Shanae Brooke Edwards, 31, was hiking in Georgia in Eastern Europe when her body was discovered on July 31, according to News.com.au. Edwards taught English as a second language in the former Soviet country's capital of Tbilisi.
On July 30, Edwards phoned her friend in California as she was being attacked.
In the recorded call, Edwards screamed at her unknown attacker and yelled, “please let me go, okay… just let me go,” according to the Australian outlet.
The audio recording captured her rape, in where Edwards told her assailant, “take your hands off me,” according to Today UK News.
A friend of Edwards, who was from Melbourne and lived abroad in Georgia for two years, had posted on the Facebook page, Expats in Tbilisi, about her disappearance. A search party found Edwards’ body the following day on Mount Mtatsminda, overlooking Tbilisi.
Edwards' cause of death has not yet been released, but the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia has declared her killing a premeditated murder, according to news outlet Agenda.ge.
“The ministry and police officers are doing their best to find the murderer,” said Georgian Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri. “[The Ministry of Internal Affairs] have some information, though I cannot talk about it due to the interests of the investigation.”
Gomelauri said that the ministry has some information on the killing and claimed the suspect was not a foreign national.
Georgian authorities had compiled an image based on witness sightings of the suspect.
Edwards was last seen on CCTV footage when she left her apartment at 3:35 p.m. She was dressed in a black hiking outfit when setting out in the direction of Mtatsminda Park.
That day, an Expats in Tbilisi Facebook page user posted that they’d heard “a woman screaming at the trails under Mtatsminda Park,” according to Today UK.
An officer from the Australian Embassy in Turkey, who works with Georgia, was sent out to assist local authorities, according to a spokesman from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
“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 spokesman said, according to news.com.au. “The DFAT is providing consular assistance to the woman’s family. Owing to our privacy obligations, we will not provide further detail.”
Minister Gomelauri denied unconfirmed reports of two other women recently being assaulted on Mount Mtatsminda but did confirm reports of women being followed in the area, according to Agenda.
Many have taken to Edwards' Instagram account to voice their sadness over her death.
“The warmest friend anyone can ever find,” a friend posted. “You didn’t deserve to go like this.”
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