By ANA VURU
Fiji Police have been updating their Australian counterparts on the extent of investigations into the death of Victorian woman Tracey Ann O’Brien, who was found dead at Vunavutu Village junction, Sigatoka, on Monday this week.
Australian Federal Police representatives held a meeting on the case with their Fijian counterparts in Suva yesterday afternoon.
Meanwhile, a Fijian police source has told Australian media that the suspect in the case was someone known to Ms Maw and is now “on the run” from police.
The source told news.com.au investigators had “identified a likely suspect” and were actively looking for him.
“His exact location isn’t known … He’s on the run, but knows we are looking for him.”
Ms Maw was badly beaten, but the cause of death has not been released by police.She was cremated soon after a post mortem examination.
It is understood Ms Maw was last seen last Thursday night at a party in Sigatoka.
In another development, Fijian Police Commissioner Bernadus Groenewald has told Radio Australia that a post-mortem examination could not determine the cause of death, but said the woman had sustained injuries and had since been cremated.
“Because of the total decomposed situation of the body, it was cremated,” he said.
“Indications are that there was a crime committed, a case of alleged murder was opened, and it’s being investigated by senior police.”
He said according to information police had received, she was seen with a friend in one of the nearby villages before her death.
“We are following up some specific links, in terms of when was she last seen and with whom was she seen,” he said.
“We are positive if there was a crime committed, we might have a breakthrough as soon as possible.”
Commissioner Groenewald has assured the Maw family of Pine Lodge, near Shepperton in rural Victoria, Australia, that a thorough investigation would be conducted.
A family member told AAP they did not wish to comment on the case.
The family has been provided consular assistance by officials of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Additional reporting: ABC, news.com.au, AAP