Homeless man wanted over Domain death
Victoria Police are searching for 42 year-old Scott Miller over the death of a woman found in parklands off St Kilda Road on Saturday.PT1M0S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3b30f 620 349 June 30, 2014
Detectives investigating the violent death of a woman whose body was found naked and battered in Melbourne's Kings Domain precinct, next to the Royal Botanic Gardens, are searching for a homeless man who is believed to have been sleeping in a nearby rotunda.
The woman, aged in her 30s, is believed to be from China and was in Australia working in the hospitality industry.
Homicide squad detectives are investigating whether she was sexually assaulted and killed while walking to work, Detective Sergeant Nathan Favre said.
"We can't rule out sexual assault as the motivation for this offence,” he said. “Certainly the manner in which the deceased was located, in a state of undress, indicates that may have been the case."
Police believe they know who the woman is, but have not been able to contact her family.
Her body was discovered by joggers on Saturday at about 8.35am, lying on a busy stretch of the Kings Domain, tucked behind the Victoria Police Memorial, near St Kilda Road and Linlithgow Avenue, Southbank.
Detective Sergeant Favre said police were waiting on the results of an autopsy to discover whether the woman had been assaulted and if those injuries had killed her.
"We will await the report from the coroner as to whether these assaults have caused her death," Detective Sergeant Favre said.
Search crews on Saturday scoured the area, discovering several objects of interest, including a handbag and some of the woman’s clothing. A pair of scissors was also found on a nearby park bench.
At least one object had turned investigators towards Scott Allen Miller, a 42-year-old homeless man from Western Australia, who has been living rough in Melbourne for at least six weeks.
Detective Sergeant Favre would not say what object had connected Mr Miller to the crime scene, but confirmed he was a suspect in the woman’s death and appealed for him to come forward.
"We believe he can assist us in relation to what was found at the crime scene," he said.
Detectives have not discovered any link between Mr Miller and the victim.
Although Mr Miller is not believed to have a history of violence, he is known to WA Police, which has been assisting its Victorian counterpart with the investigation.
The Salvation Army's Major Brendan Nottle said Mr Miller was "a quiet person" who has had contact with the Salvation Army's outreach workers and cafe staff in recent weeks.
"He was just quiet, kept to himself, he'd have a meal and leave," Mr Nottle said, adding that Mr Miller had shunned accommodation assistance, choosing instead to sleep in the rotunda.
He said it was important not to make assumptions about Mr Miller or homeless people in general as a result of the investigation.
On Sunday police released an image of Mr Miller, urging anybody who sees him to contact police but not to approach.
Detectives also searched the nearby Janet Lady Clarke Rotunda, a popular location for wedding photos, where they believe Mr Miller has recently been sleeping.
Detective Sergeant Favre said police were "working tirelessly" to solve the crime and urged the public not to be alarmed, but to be vigilant with personal safety.
"It's a really public place and it's a really shocking crime," he said. "It's troubling, we're working to solve it as quickly as possible."
It is not known why or when Mr Miller travelled to Melbourne from WA, but police believe he may still be in the Melbourne CBD area.
Anyone who sees Mr Miller is urged to call triple-0 immediately and people with information about the death can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.