Fiji Police say a strong lead led to a local man being taken into custody in connection with the death of Australian woman Tracey Ann O’Brien May at Sigatoka, in the west of the country’s main island – Viti Levu.
The man is still being questioned and Police have declined to reveal any further details.
Fiji Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro confirmed that a local man was in custody for questioning in relation to Ms Maw’s death.
“At this moment we cannot reveal the identity of the person because we have not charged him yet. But I can say that we have a strong lead,” Ms Naisoro told the Australian Federal Police.
She confirmed that the man was under close Police watch.
There has been no indication of how soon charges can be laid, but Police Commissioner Bernadus Groenewald has promised Ms Maw’s family a thorough investigation.
However, an unnamed Police source from Sigatoka, where Ms Maw was found told Daily Mail Australia journalists that she had to be identified by her tattoos after the severe bashing.
“She was formally identified by her brother Rodney Maw by tattoo marks on her leg, as the woman who was missing,” the spokesman said.
The spokesperson said that she was found in the area “where she was staying with her boyfriend”, a local Fijian man. Ms Maw was believed to have been in the country in an attempt to re-establish a relationship with the man.
The badly beaten and decomposed body was found in bushes by a passing farmer near Vunavutu Village.
Commissioner Groenewald said Ms Maw had gone to Vunavutu village with a friend.
Her body has already been cremated “due to the extreme stage of putrefaction of the victim’s body”, but her relatives in Shepperton, rural Victoria, have expressed concern that the speed of the cremation will have failed to allow a precise investigation into how she was killed.
Her brother is believed to have returned to Australia.
Officials from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are providing consular assistance to her family.
DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA