WA police say they’ve had a surge of calls to Crime Stoppers following appeals for information about the murder of Melville grandmother Valeria Fermendjin last week.
But they still want commuters with dash cams who drove past the corner of Stock Road and Leach Highway at peak hour on the morning of Tuesday January 5 to come forward.
That’s when they believe one or more burglars walked through the open front door of the house and bludgeoned Ms Fermendjin to death with one of her own possessions, which they’ve retrieved but haven’t identified.
The victim had just picked up a basket of washing from a client of her home ironing business and police believe she disturbed the burglary.
Her body was found by her daughter, who lives in a house at the back of the block, two days later.
A neighbour said the daughter had entered the house with two young children, emerging distraught moments later. The daughter was again overcome with emotion at a police media event. Ms Fermendjin’s son-in-law, Ivan, described her as a “beautiful lady” who’d lived for her family.
He backed police calls for people to come forward with any information, even if it seemed a long-shot. Police say even if motorists have erased footage from their dash cams, their IT experts are usually able to retrieve it.
“It might be insignificant what you’ve seen,” Ivan said. “It might be the smallest thing and you might think it’s not worth mentioning anything, but if you could, the smallest thing might help.”
Police media chief Ros Weatherall told the Herald they were banking on it being a very busy spot at a busy time of day to provide clues and eyewitnesses.
“There’s a lot of bus stops, and lots of people using them, especially around that critical time of 7.30 to 8.30am, there’s a lot of people walking down that road because you’ve got the shops and the police licensing centre, and there’s lots of people on buses looking out the window.”
by STEVE GRANT