The West

UPDATE 9pm: A man is expected to be charged with the rape and murder of missing ABC radio employee Jill Meagher.

Homicide detectives arrested the 41-year-old Coburg man this afternoon in relation to the Brunswick woman’s disappearance.

He continues to assist police with their inquiries.

Detective Superintendent Brett Guerin said the man was expected to be charged with rape and murder.

Detectives had been wanting to talk to a man in a blue hooded jumper seen on CCTV footage with Ms Meagher moments before she vanished in the early hours of last Saturday.

Detectives have held fears that the 29-year-old woman was abducted shortly after her conversation with the man at 1.42am (AEST) on Saturday, which was captured in CCTV footage.

Melbourne social commentator Catherine Deveny has also told police how she believes she encountered the same man not far from where Ms Meagher disappeared on Sydney Road, in the inner-city suburb of Brunswick.

She says the man tried to pull her off her bike and attack her in July.

“He was alone. On foot and I described him as 'Early 30s sandy hair, jeans and blue hoodie.' I just saw the footage now. Same guy,” she wrote on Twitter.

At least one of several others also captured on the CCTV footage released on Wednesday has spoken to detectives, Fairfax Media reports.

Police today would not confirm a News Limited report that additional CCTV footage shows the same unknown man running towards Ms Meagher, or a witness report that a car had performed a U-turn towards her.

The Ten Network broadcast CCTV footage from an arts store on Sydney Road which it said shows the man in the blue hoodie walking metres behind another person, believed to be Ms Meagher.

The store is located about 300 metres before Ms Meagher reached the bridal dress store where security cameras filmed her talking with the man in the hoodie, it said.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said police would not comment on the report.

One of the men seen in CCTV footage on the night Jill Meagher has come forward to police.

Dan Gregson said told 7News that he walked past the man not long before he is seen talking to Ms Meagher.

He said there was nothing unusual about the man and that he was a nondescript looking guy.

"There's enough people walking around at that time of day or night that you don't really pay attention to everybody you walk past," he said.

Mr Gregson also said he didn't think Ms Meagher made it further down Sydney Rd to Hope Street. He told Fairfax he was eating a kebab for about 10 minutes and would have noticed her if she had passed him by.

The identity and location of the man in the blue hoodie is still unknown and police believe he could hold the key to her disappearance.

“There may be a rational explanation as to what's happened, but he certainly could help us,” Detective Inspector John Potter said yesterday.

A Victoria Police spokesman on Thursday morning would only say the investigation into Ms Meagher's disappearance is ongoing.

She had left Bar Etiquette on Brunswick's Sydney Road after drinking with ABC colleagues at 1.33am (AEST) on Saturday.

She encountered the man in the blue jumper nine minutes later outside a bridal store, had a brief conversation with him, and then continued walking home.

A former colleague and friend of Jill Meagher has told of her bright and bubbly nature as family, friends and strangers from across Australia and Ireland wait anxiously for news of Ms Meagher.

Campbell Pfeiffer worked with the 29-year-old at Jones Lang LaSalle in Melbourne for a year and said her friends and former workmates were extremely concerned.

Mr Pfeiffer said he remained friends with Ms Meagher after she left the company in November 2010 to take a job as an executive assistant at the Melbourne Arts Centre. She spent 12 months there before going to the ABC in January.

"She's just a lovely, very bubbly person and is very well liked," he said.

Several of Ms Meagher's former schoolmates from Rossmoyne Senior High School were among more than 80,000 people to sign up to a Facebook page trying to help find her.

Ms Meagher lived in Perth with her parents and brother Michael in the early 1990s before they returned to their native Ireland for several years.

It is believed Ms Meagher met her husband Tom at University College Dublin, where she studied for a bachelor of arts degree and worked at the student bar before completing higher diplomas in event management, accounting and project management.

The couple married in July 2008 and moved to Melbourne in November 2009.

Ms Meagher's Facebook profile features dozens of photos of the couple from the past 10 years, from 21st birthday parties to overseas holidays.

Close friend Louise Tite, who went to school with Ms Meagher in Perth before one moved to Ireland and the other went to London, described her as her "oldest, dearest friend".

Ms Tite, a bridesmaid at the Meaghers' wedding, wrote on Facebook: "It is a truly awful awful situation, I can't believe it and am just praying she is ok."

Ms Meagher's parents George and Edith McKeon arrived in Perth in the early 90s before returning to Ireland in the mid-90s, where they spent eight years before shifting back to Perth and settling in Attadale.

Mr McKeon did financial investigations and was a registered liquidator with MK Corporate Services. He is still involved in similar work with family members.

Melbourne police were stepping-up patrols in the city this weekend as investigators focused on finding five men who may know something about the fate of missing ABC radio employee Jill Meagher.

Detectives hold grave fears that Ms Meagher, a 29-year-old who moved from Ireland to Melbourne three years ago, was abducted while walking home alone last Saturday from a bar in Sydney Road, Brunswick.

Victoria Police Acting Inspector Gary Stokie says officers will increase patrols across the area in a more overt capacity, with boosted numbers from highway, bike and uniform divisions.

Plainclothes detectives will also be at the ready.

“We’re here to listen to the concerns of the community and to allay their fears,” he said today.

“We are doing that by increasing our patrols.”

A police caravan has been set up near the corner of Sydney Road and Hope Street - close to where Ms Meagher was last seen on CCTV footage speaking with an unknown man in a blue hoodie outside a bridal dress store.

The West Australian

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