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Georgian Police Detain Suspect In Killing Of Australian Woman

Rafael Mursakulov

TBILISI -- Police in Tbilisi have detained a suspect in the murder of an Australian woman, Shanae Brooke Edwards, who went missing earlier this summer before her body was found in the Georgian capital.

Georgia's Interior Ministry said on September 8 that a 33-year-old resident of Tbilisi had been detained as a suspect in the case, adding that the decision to arrest the man was made as result of studies performed on DNA samples taken from the crime scene.

Local media identified the man as Rafael Mursakulov, a Georgian citizen.

Mursakulov's lawyer, Sofio Goglichidze, told RFE/RL on September 9 that she will have details on the case after she meets with her client as soon as he is transferred from police detention to a pretrial detention center.

Edwards, a 31-year-old English teacher, disappeared on July 30. After her friends raised concerns about her whereabouts, police started a search and found her body with signs of violence in Tbilisi's Mtatsminda park the next day.

The deputy chief of the Tbilisi city police, Kakha Muradashvili, told reporters on September 8 that a possible murder weapon, a knife, was found near the body.

The killing of the Australian woman caused a public outcry in the South Caucasus state.