Sophie turned down a lift home
Police spend Thursday night interviewing people at the scene where French student Sophie Collombet was murdered a week ago. Nine NewsPT1M51S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-362ft 620 349 April 4, 2014
Murdered French student Sophie Collombet turned down the offer of a lift home on the night she was killed in a South Brisbane park.
On March 27, Ms Collombet's night class at Griffith University's Nathan campus had wrapped up about 8.20pm, when a fellow international student offered her a ride back to her Quay Street apartment.
The upset male student told classmates what had happened during a student meeting on Thursday night, Ms Collombet's friend Roselyne Trott said.
CCTV footage of Sophie Collombet captured last Thursday morning.
"They walked out of the class and it was pouring with rain. They shared an umbrella and walked towards his car. He offered her a lift, and she said, 'No its ok, I'll go on the bus'," Mrs Trott told Fairfax Media.
"They left each other at his car and she went on the bus."
Mrs Trott said about 15 students attended Thursday's meeting and were all devastated.
The handbag Sophie Collombet was carrying at the time of her murder. Photo: Supplied
"They had the possibility to talk if they wanted to and I think [the university] wanted to offer them the support they needed with counselling and reinforce to stay safe," she said.
Mrs Trott said she had spoken with Ms Collombet's mother in France two days ago.
"It's so hard on the phone when we all cry and they don't know what's happening here," she said.
The route Sophie Collombet was taking home when she was attacked in South Brisbane. Photo: Google Maps
"They know the police are working really hard to find the monster who did this to their precious daughter."
Police spent Thursday night and early Friday morning interviewing people in the area where Ms Collombet was murdered in Kurilpa Park.
Senior Constable Gerard Hobbs said detectives interviewed as many people as possible during a 12-hour patrol that finished Friday morning, exactly a week after a man found Sophie Collombet's battered and naked body at the park on the edge of the busy South Bank precinct.
Slain student Sophie Collombet. Photo: Facebook.
"We've had quite a lot that we've spoken to," he told ABC radio.
"There are further leads we can follow up on."
When police arrived on the scene near the William Jolly Bridge on March 27 they didn't have a suspect.
CCTV footage of Sophie Collombet captured as she made her way to university. Photo: Supplied
Most importantly they didn't even have the victim's name. The woman's clothes and belongings had also been disposed of.
However what they did have were distinctive pieces of jewellery which led to her identification four days later.
One week on, police still don't have a suspect.
Sophie Collombet from France. Photo: Facebook.
But they may be edging closer.
Security footage from the Cultural Centre bus station, captured at 8.47pm on March 27, may be the final minutes leading up to Ms Collombet's death.
With the rain lashing down, she gets off a bus with her umbrella and a cloth shoulder bag in hand. She smiles and waves goodbye to a friend, and then she is gone.
Police said they have footage of Ms Collombet walking along the boardwalk by the Brisbane River near the Kurilpa Bridge about 13 minutes later.
If she had continued, she would have reached the Go Between Bridge, crossed it, and eventually made it home to her Quay Street apartment.
"What we're hoping is people that may take that route home - just as Sophie did each Thursday evening - may be able to assist us," Inspector Rod Kemp said of the overnight operation.
"That night because it was raining it was a bit quieter."
Images of Ms Collombet setting out from her home in the morning show her wearing a beige singlet top, dark denim jeans and black ankle boots. She was carrying a cream and brown bag.
She left her apartment about 8.30am, and later that evening attended a university class at Griffith's Nathan Campus. She then caught the bus back to South Brisbane.
In another development, police revealed they had found an umbrella in the Brisbane River, which matched the description of the one owned by the French student.
Inspector Kemp said "dozens" of people had been interviewed during the investigation, but he couldn't confirm if multiple people were involved in Ms Collombet's death or if a weapon was used to inflict the severe blunt trauma to her head.
In the 12 months to March 27, more than 200 criminal offences were committed on the South Bank boardwalk and along the route Ms Collombet took when she got off at the Cultural Centre, Queensland Police data shows.
Most crimes related to public order, however there were nine assaults, three robberies and two other offences against the person.
Griffith University International Pro Vice Chancellor Sarah Todd said the university was organising a memorial service for Ms Collombet, likely to be held later next week.
Students from Griffith University, University of Queensland and Queensland University of Technology also plan to hold a vigil for Ms Collombet in the city next Thursday from 6.30pm.
They intend on meeting at King George Square before walking to Kurilpa Park.