The body of an Australian woman has been found abroad, with a criminal investigation being launched and local authorities saying she may have been murdered.
Shanae Edwards, 31, who also went by Shanae Brooke, was from Melbourne, but had been living in Georgia and teaching English for the past two years, 9 News reported.
On July 30, Ms Edwards was reported missing after failing to return from a hike in Mtatsminda Park in the capital, Tbilisi, with her body being found the next day.
"As a result of several hours of intensive search and investigative activities, the officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs found the female body on the slope of Mtatsminda," the ministry said in a statement.
"Within the frames of the ongoing investigation, appropriate forensic examination will be appointed. All necessary operative and investigative activities are underway."
According to a document made for those involved in the search, Ms Edwards left her home at around 3.35pm on July 30.
She was last seen on CCTV footage wearing all black, carrying a green bag with her hair tied back.
Ms Edwards was then seen at a popular hiking starting point, across from the Church of Mikhail of Tver which, according to the document, is about a 15 minute walk from her home in Georgia.
"She is a pro hiker and hikes in different directions, so she likely started her hike from that church," the document said.
Disturbing last phone call to friend
Roughly an hour after Ms Edwards left her home, a friend who lives in California received a distressing phone call from her.
"At 4:32pm a friend who is in California received a call from her while she was being attacked and screamed for help," the document says.
"She was heard saying 'please let me go, ok… just let me go'."
The phone call was the last time anyone heard from Ms Edwards.
After her body was found, authorities suggested Ms Edwards had met with foul play.
Georgian Interior Minister Vakhtang Gomelauri said the Ministry of Internal Affairs and police were "doing their best to find the murderer", Agenda.ge reported.
In a statement to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade conformed Ms Edward's death is being investigated by authorities in Tbilisi.
An officer from the Australian Embassy in Turkey has travelled to Tbilisi "to liaise with Georgian authorities", a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman said according to AAP.
Tributes flow for slain Melbourne woman
Tributes have been posted on social media in the days since her death, with Ms Edwards remembered as a "kind and giving adventurer".
"Shanae was always up for an adventure, so kindhearted to those around her, full of laughter and a shining light. I lack the words to fully express what I feel however I only have love for her," Sarah Richards posted in a tribute on Facebook.
Ms Edwards' friend Nat, who lives in Melbourne, said she was "heartbroken".
"And that doesn't even come close to how shattered I am that this has happened to you," she said on Facebook.
"You were the strongest woman I know, an incredible human being, always the life of the party, always radiant and positive no matter what life threw at you!"
The Melbourne woman fostered several kittens, and her friends have called out for people in the Tbilisi area to adopt them.
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