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Body of Jill Meagher discovered, man charged with rape and murder

The 41-year-old is due before a Melbourne court tomorrow morning.

Jill Meagher
Jill Meagher
Image: Facebook

A 41-YEAR-OLD man has been charged with the rape and murder of missing Irish woman Jill Meagher in Australia.

Police have confirmed that her body was found in a shallow grave at Gisborne Road South at 1.45am local time today. The site is about 55km from where the 29-year-old went missing and it is believed that the suspect travelled with police to assist them in their search.

Named by Victoria police as Adrian Ernest Bayley from the suburb of Coburg near Brunswick, the accused is due to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court tomorrow morning.

He made a brief appearance in an out-of-sessions court hearing earlier today (1.45am local time) to be charged on both counts. The Age reports that he clasped his left hand over his face throughout proceedings. When asked if he understood the charges, he replied, “Yes”.

Police continue to conduct forensic analysis of the scene but say they are not searching for anyone else in connection with the rape and murder.

The accused was arrested today after police appealed to talk to a man in a blue hoodie who appeared a number of times on CCTV footage of the night the victim disappeared.

Last moments

Detectives in Melbourne had been trying to piece together the last-known movements of Jill Meagher, who is originally from Drogheda in Louth, since the investigation began six days ago.

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She was seen leaving Bar Ettiquette in the Brunswick area of Melbourne at around 1.30am local time and was reported missing at around midday the next day.

She had been socialising with work colleagues from ABC radio and set out alone to walk to her home which was about five minutes away.

Camera footage from outside a bridal shop captured her having a conversation with the man in the blue hoodie at about 1.40am and it is understood she made a phone call to her brother in Perth at around the same time.

Comments have been disabled on this piece as court proceedings have started.

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