Teen charged with murder
A 19-year-old man from Spring Hill is charged with murdering Korean woman Eunji Ban in a Brisbane park, an incident police say was a "random act".PT1M53S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2y704 620 349 November 26, 2013
Police have successfully applied to the court to take DNA samples from the teen accused of killing Korean woman Eunji Ban in Brisbane's CBD.
Alex Reuben McEwan, 19, had consented to police obtaining forensic samples from him as part of their ongoing investigation, before being remanded in custody.
The "forensic procedure order" was subsequently granted by Magistrate Jacqui Payne.
An artist's sketch of alleged killer Alex Reuben McEwan, 19, facing court in Brisbane. Photo: Nine News
During his court appearance, Mr McEwan sat in the dock with his back to the public gallery and covered his face with the sleeve of his oversized brown prison jumper.
One arm was bandaged.
He was remanded in custody and his case set for mention on December 16.
Photos of the crime scene
Murder victim Eunji Ban was found in a Brisbane park early Sunday morning. Photo: Facebook
The Spring Hill teenager was charged in the early hours of Tuesday morning, nearly 48 hours after the alleged attack on Albert Street.
A passer-by found Ms Ban's body in Wickham Park, off Albert Street, about 4.20am on Sunday.
She had allegedly suffered severe head injuries.
Mr McEwan, who was born in Ipswich, worked as a spray painter and was living in a unit on Leichhardt Street in Spring Hill, according to court documents.
Ms Ban, who arrived in Australia just six weeks ago as part of a youth exchange program, left her Roma Street Parklands apartment to walk the short distance to work at the Transcontinental Hotel about 4am on Sunday.
The 22-year-old woman, who worked as a cleaner at the hotel, walked through the parklands and along Parkland Boulevard.
Twenty minutes later, her body was found by a passer-by near the southern boundary of Wickham Park, located off Albert Street, directly behind the Brisbane Dental Hospital.
Police believe Ms Ban was attacked on the footpath on Albert Street before being dragged up a set of stairs to Wickham Park where her body was dumped.
Her distraught friends, as well as strangers touched by the tragedy, placed flowers at the base of the stairs on Monday evening.
The 22-year-old arrived in Brisbane on October 16 and was improving her English and learning Spanish while working as a cleaner.
The crime has caused anxiety among other South Korean visitors in Brisbane.
A Korean national who lives in the same apartment building where Ms Ban had been staying said her own family and friends were worried about her.
"I’ve got 100 messages from other friends [saying] that I have to worry about everything, that I have to be careful," the woman told 612 ABC Brisbane.
Detectives struggled to determine a motive for the attack, because there was no evidence to suggest Ms Ban was sexually assaulted or robbed.
But they identified a person of interest early in their investigations: a shirtless man was seen in the park about the time of the attack.
The passer-by reported seeing a shirtless man leaving the park moments before discovering the woman's body, but he was only been able to give police a vague description of the man.
"All we have at this stage is a lone male person of slim build, approximately 180 centimetres in height wearing no shirt," Detective Inspector Tom Armitt told reporters on Monday.
"The male was seen to leave through Wickham Park."
Police do not believe any weapon was used in the attack, but are waiting on results from a post-mortem examination.
Inspector Armitt renewed an appeal for witnesses, or anyone in the vicinity of Wickham Park, Roma Street Parklands, Turbot Street or Albert Street between 3.30am and 4.30am on Sunday to come forward.
"We have sought and canvassed a number of persons who've been witnesses, or who were in the area at the time," he said.
"However, we're appealing to members of the public who were in the area at the time, regardless of what they saw or heard, to come forward."
Investigators are in the process of gathering security footage from the area.
"It's a tragic circumstance at this point. It's obviously a brutal crime and we'll be determined to solve it as quickly as possible," he said.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk extended his sympathies to Ms Ban's family and friends.
“This is a terrible tragedy and the council has made footage available to the Queensland Police Service to assist their investigations,” he said.
“Brisbane is one of the safest cities in the world, but we will continue to invest in programs to make our streets even safer for every single man, woman and child that walks them.”
Police have established an Investigation Centre at Brisbane City police station under Operation Lima Universe as they continue their investigations.
Anyone with information about the deaths is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.