Murdered Australian teacher Shanae Brooke Edwards shouted down violence against women the world over.
The ‘free-spirit’ 31-year-old from Melbourne had witnessed all kinds of horrific behaviour carried out by men in her travels across the globe.
Her own life would be ended last week at the hands of a man in terrain the young Aussie was most at peace.
Her cruel demise atop Mount Mtatsminda, high above Tbiilsi, Georgia – in the former USSR – shares chilling similarities to the rape and murder of Melbourne woman Jill Meagher.
Shanae Brooke Edwards, 31, was hiking Mount Mtatsminda alone above Tbiilsi, Georgia, when she was ambushed on Friday and her body found the next day
The much-loved ‘free spirit’ was on a call to a friend in the US while trekking when she was heard shouting ‘take your hands off me’ – before the call cut out
Searchers found this old and rusty shovel in the bushes in the area where Ms Edwards went missing. A man was also seen having ‘aggressive’ sex with a woman about 50m away – the day before her disappearance
Both shared similar facial features, were strong, independent and had a love of travel.
Ms Meagher would be captured on CCTV walking to her doom in 2012 – her fate a mystery for a full week before her killer Adrian Bayley was caught.
She had travelled across the globe from Ireland to meet her doom.
Ms Edwards would also be captured on CCTV as she took off for what was supposed to be an enjoyable trek through the nearby mountains.
Dressed in tight black yoga pants and a dark top, she was last seen leaving the Church of Mikhail of Tver on Friday for a hike up along Mtatsminda.
She was not seen alive again.
At 4:32pm she phoned a friend across the ocean in California in a desperate cry for help.
She was being attacked by a man.
‘Please let me go, ok… just let me go,’ she cried.
Georgian police were notified and Ms Edwards’ friends formed search parties in the hope of finding her alive.
Final hike to death: A map of where Ms Edwards was expected to go hiking was shared with her friends, who rallied to find the Melbourne woman a world from home
Searchers found strange signs of life living among the trees including ‘needles and lots of bottles in some spots.’
She had been an experienced hiker, who had crossed harsh terrains from the Australian bush to the forests of Columbia.
They had immediately feared foul play.
Described as a free spirit, Ms Edwards had been a fearless explorer who called out bad behaviour wherever she roamed.
Her social media page is awash with posts condemning violence against women, sharing videos and encouraging young men to respect women.
On Wednesday, local police continued their hunt for Ms Edwards’ killer.
Shanae Brooke Edwards, 31, (left) was raped and murdered in eerily similar circumstances to Jill Meagher, who met her fate in Melbourne after coming here from Ireland
Ms Edwards had volunteered in Melbourne. Her body was retrieved by a team of volunteer searchers, including her friends, on Saturday July 31
Her body had been found in thick scrub in the Okrokana forest, close to the nearby village of Okrokana.
Detectives descended on the village amid reports the killer likely lived there.
They had tracked signals from her mobile phone until they went dead in the bushland.
Local media has reported a potential suspect with blonde hair, aged in his 30s, is now believed to be a person of interest.
Ms Edwards was well aware of the dangers of travelling alone in the region.
She had been teaching English in the former Soviet republic for two years and travelling the world since 2016, when she left Melbourne.
Horror stories told by women about their experiences with men in the region are sadly all too familiar.
‘I’m scared for my LGBTQ+ friends … I’m scared for my black friends, hell, I’m scared for my straight friends that have earrings,’ one traveller who spent three years in Georgia stated this week.
‘Georgia is the only country I have been assaulted in and where I have felt unsafe walking in the streets at night (and even during the day) because of creepy men.’
Missing person posters went up last Friday in the hope Ms Edwards would be found alive
Ms Edwards has been remembered as a kind and caring person with a love of adventure and animals. Her death is being treated as a premeditated murder by the Georgian authorities
Ms Edwards demise shared chilling similarities to the rape and murder of Melbourne woman Jill Meagher.
Mtatsminda Park, where Ms Edwards went missing, is a booming tourist park with several adventure rides on top of Mount Mtatsminda.
Another woman claimed to have witnessed a disturbing sight on the mountain about the same time Ms Edwards went missing.
She claimed to have seen a man having ‘aggressive’ sex with a woman about 50m away, while her and her partner were walking ‘exactly one day before the missing expat’.
Ms Edwards’ friends reported finding black leggings and winter boots discarded along her likely route.
‘There’s also a tent and some weird s**t. Worth searching properly,’ one searcher reported seeing.
An old, rusty shovel was found, as were strange signs of life living among the trees.
‘Signs of activity, firepits, used needles, lots of bottles in some spots,’ one man reported.
‘This spot below was freshly used and had some linens or clothes inside a plastic bag nearby. Bad smell in the area but more like human waste.’
Ms Edwards went missing after being attacked on Mount Mtatsminda near Tbilisi, the capital of the former Soviet republic of Georgia, where she had been teaching English. Her body was discovered after an overnight search below Mtatsminda Park, which is on top of the mountain
Ms Edwards’ phone was tracked to Mtatsminda Park, a booming tourist funpark on top of the mountain she was hiking when she was attacked and murdered. A tram leading up the mountain is pictured above
Ms Edwards’ final Instagram post, of her on a motorbike on July 29, was captioned ‘Joy’
Shocked locals have expressed their dismay at what happened to Ms Edwards.
‘I feel so bad and totally ashamed! This is not a real face of Georgia, these are animals who call themselves humans!’ one person wrote this week.
‘This is already a cry of Georgia for help! Only bad happens! Every day! Last 3 weeks, stabbed Polish, beaten a German DJ, killed Azerbaijani Youtuber and now killed a young Australian.’
One woman claimed while the rape and murder of women in Georgia was rare, they all lived in fear of the local men.
‘Sadly if you talk to any girl living here who uses public transport or walks the streets alone they will tell you it’s sometimes not safe out there, especially if you like to dress differently, I don’t know how, or why this happened, I feel ashamed,’ she said.
On Wednesday tributes continued to flood onto Ms Edwards’ Facebook page from shocked friends, family and strangers.
Many remembered her from her time in Melbourne, where she once worked in the Medallion Club at what is now Marvel Stadium.
‘Some of the happiest times of my life were spent with Shanae and our friends at the pub in La Trobe street. It’s just heart breaking,’ one friend posted on Wednesday.
‘Shanae was brave and strong and stood up for people, she stood up for what is right and good and fair,’ another wrote.
‘She didn’t do it from behind a keyboard or on the steps of parliament houses, she just did it. ‘
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs said it was was providing consular assistance to Ms Edwards’ family.
‘The Australian government offers its deepest condolences to the family of an Australian woman whose death is being investigated by authorities in Tbilisi, Georgia,’ a DFAT statement read.
Ms Edwards, from Melbourne, had been teaching English for two years in the former Soviet republic of Georgia and was known to have climbed Mount Mtatsminda above Tbilisi before she was murdered
Tributes for the kind and adventurous Shanae Brooke Edwards have flooded social media since her brutal murder
Shanae Edwards was described as fun loving, adventurous and caring in tributes posted to social media since her murder