Victorian police hunt for couple over death of Sri Lankan teen

Victorian police have released CCTV footage of a pair they want to speak to about an alleged hit-and-run that killed a “kind and sociable” international student near Melbourne’s Monash University last week, ABC News reported.

Nisali Perera, 20, was crossing the road near the university’s Clayton campus on Thursday night when she was struck by a car believed to be speeding through a red light.

The Sri Lankan national, who was studying commerce and business psychology, died at the scene shortly afterwards.

Investigators said it appeared she had been hit by a dark-coloured Mazda that was later found dumped about 500 metres away.

Police today released the CCTV vision of Shane Cochrane, 37, and Lauren Hindes, 33, who they believed would be able to help in their investigation.

Detective Inspector Stuart McGregor said the Road Crime Investigations unit wanted to speak to Mr Cochrane, from Bayswater, and Ms Hindes, from the Clayton area, about what they had seen that night.

He said police were putting a lot of resources into finding the pair, in the hopes they could help solve the case.

“We’ll continue to hunt until we find them, and we will find them,” he said.

Inspector McGregor said Ms Perera appeared to be “a wonderful person, living a wonderful life, loved by her family”.

He said most of her family was in Sri Lanka which meant family in two continents were “absolutely devastated” by the loss.

“[She] was just trying to walk from the Monash University across the road, and she was doing it legally. Unfortunately that’s the end of the only child her parents have.”

He said her family described Ms Perera as “an independent free spirit”.

“They were so proud of her and the fact that she had made her way to Australia. An Australia that she loved,” he said.

“She loved her family and she prioritised her family at all times. She was a kind and sociable person and she loved being here in particular.”

Inspector McGregor said Ms Perera was “doing everything right” and was going through the Wellington Road crossing on a green signal but the driver of the car “didn’t do the right thing” and kept driving.

Hundreds of people paid tribute to her on social media, with some remembering her as a “sweet girl” who was kind to others.

Mr Cochrane was described as being 170 centimetres tall with a medium build, brown hair and hazel eyes, while Ms Hindes was 174cm tall with a thin build and brown hair.

Witness information suggested the car was being driven by a male, with a passenger inside.


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