21-year-old Israeli student killed in Melbourne while FaceTiming her sister

She was speaking on the phone when she was attacked

Image Aiia Maasarwe was on a six-month study programme

Victoria Police appealing to any passers-by who may have information about the murder of Aiia Maasarwe on Wednesday morning.

"The 20-year-old was arrested in Greensborough by local police working in partnership with homicide detectives about 11.20am", police said in a statement.

Police launched a massive manhunt, releasing CCTV images of Maasarwe on Tuesday night as well as images of a t-shirt and cap that were found near the crime scene.

The death of an worldwide student murdered just moments after getting off a tram in Melbourne's north has sparked a series of vigils in her honour and against male violence. She had taken a tram home late on Wednesday after a comedy show.

Earlier hundreds gathered at Latrobe University in a vigil for Maasarwe, 21, whose body was found behind a bush outside the auto park to the Polaris shopping centre in Bundoora about 7am on Wednesday.

Aiia Maasarwe (left) was studying at a Melbourne university as part of a year-long exchange programme. Police assume the attack was random and opportunistic.

She was on the phone with her sister when she was attacked
Image She was on the phone with her sister when she was attacked

At 6pm tonight, hundreds of people dressed in black are expected to gather on the steps of Victorian parliament to silently protest "epidemic violence against women".

Instead, her father arrived in Melbourne on Thursday morning to identify her body.

It was the second time in seven months that a young woman had been killed on her way home at night in Melbourne, which has an active night life and is popular with overseas university students.

"I was in shock, I couldn't believe it... the day before my wife had said to me, "We'll have to go to Australia, Australia's very safe, very nice", the victim's uncle Rame Maasarwe told national broadcaster ABC from the United States. "We have a grieving family who had to fly halfway across the world under the most horrific circumstances and we want to be able to give them some answers", Inspector Stamper said.

"What happened to me was nowhere near as bad, of course, but I just feel like if more was done about these little things that these bigger incidences could be prevented. there needs to be cameras at tram stops and bus stops", the 21-year-old told reporters.

After she broke down, she said she could hear the crowd burst into tears.

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