Heartbreaking final message from murdered comedian
A FACEBOOK message sent by a 22-year-old found dead in a Melbourne park has been revealed as her alleged killer faced court.
THE 22-year-old comedian found murdered in a Melbourne park sent a heartbreaking final message moments before she was killed and her body dumped on a soccer field.
Eurydice Dixon was walking through Princes Park in Carlton North, just a few hundred metres from her home, when she pulled out her phone to contact the friend she had left at Flinders Street Station.
"I'm almost home safe, HBU [how about you]," she messaged Toby Magnuson on Facebook just after midnight.
Ms Dixon, who was in high spirits after a successful comedy gig, had taken this route many times before - but this time, she wouldn't make it.
"She was happy and content. She gave me a hug, blew me a kiss and said she was going for a walk," Mr Magnuson told Fairfax Media. "She was on top of the world because her gig went so well."
Her body was found on a soccer pitch at around 2.40am on Wednesday morning.
Police released CCTV images later that day, captured during the childcare student's walk home. It is suspected she may have been stalked for more than four kilometres on her journey from the southern end of the CBD.
The images showed a young man in a hoodie could be seen standing on a city footpath. Jaymes Todd, 19, handed himself in at Broadmeadows police station that night.
The teenager yawned as he appeared in court on Thursday charged with Ms Dixon's rape and murder.
He suffers from Autism Spectrum Disorder and is socially regressive, his lawyer told Melbourne Magistrate's Court.
Mr Todd kept his eyes downcast for most of his court appearance, occasionally looking around the room, according to reporters on the scene.
He wore a short-sleeved blue shirt and remained silent during more than an hour in the dock.
Police said the alleged killer did not know Ms Dixon, who was named on Thursday afternoon as the young woman found murdered in the park.
Mr Todd has been remanded in custody until October.
COMEDIAN PERFORMED IN FINAL HOURS
Ms Dixon was on her way home after spending the night making people laugh when her life was cut short.
The childcare student's last post on Facebook was an invitation for friends to attend her show on Tuesday night.
"You guys should come along and watch," she wrote. "It will be a good night."
Hours after she finished performing a comedy show in Melbourne bar Highlander, which was "packed to the rafters", Ms Dixon was found dead on a soccer pitch less than 5km away.
The promising performer finished her gig in Melbourne's CBD just after 10pm on Tuesday night. She said goodnight to the hordes of people she'd made laugh for the past hour and started to walk home.
Her body was found by a passer-by less than five hours later in the middle of a soccer pitch between Royal Parade and Princes Park Drive at Carlton North.
The distance between the bar where Ms Dixon performed and the park where her body was found is 4.2km.
"We are deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic news of the death of Eurydice Dixon," the venue said in a Facebook statement. "She was a remarkable, talented, kind, unique and universally loved person and the entire staff are shattered and heartbroken."
A staff member said she was a regular performer and her shows were "always packed to the rafters".
Months before her death, Ms Dixon had appeared in several sold-out shows at the bar for the Melbourne Comedy Festival.
'YOU WERE ONE IN A MILLION'
The Melbourne comedy community has thrown its support behind Ms Dixon and her family.
In a tweet, TV personality Julia Morris called her death "despicable".
Comedians including Cal Wilson, Anne Edmonds and Celia Pacquola are among the hundreds of people to donate to a GoFundMe started last night.
Fellow comedian Luka Muller started the page, which quickly surpassed its $1500 goal and has now topped $30,000, most of which will be donated to charities that Ms Dixon supported.
The Comedy Women's Association described Ms Dixon as "a unique and talented voice and will be very much missed."
Friends and family paid tribute to the much-loved young woman on the fundraising page, sending their condolences to her father and brother.
"Can't believe we'll never chat again," wrote Judith Stutz. "You were so funny at the Highlander."
Emma Byers called her a "bright spark - full of kindness and a fiercely independent thinker," while Susan Brown said she was "talented and spirited".
Nancy Pollock wrote: "You were one in a million RIP Ridi."
Liam Morkham said he had worked with Ms Dixon on a university performing arts show. "She was always so kind and genuine and extremely funny to be around," he wrote. "A sincere and caring individual."
And Sophie Lefebvre summed up the shock and horror of many Australians, writing: "Devastated that someone who worked to bring laughter to the world was taken so cruelly from it."
TEEN HANDED HIMSELF IN AFTER CCTV PICTURES
Paramedics who were called to the scene where Ms Dixon was found worked on Ms Dixon but were unable to revive her. Police sealed off the area and SES volunteers combed the park for clues.
The teen's arrest came hours after police released CCTV images of a man in a grey hooded jumper. Homicide Squad Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper told a media conference on Thursday that the alleged killer "surrendered himself" after the images were shared by the press.
He said the images were taken "in the Melbourne CBD" but would not reveal the exact time or location. He said the images were not captured in Carlton North.
Inspector Stamper also ruled out any link between the Carlton North attack and a sexual assault in nearby Parkville on March 28.
Police have been unable to say whether Ms Dixon was murdered at a second location and dumped in Carlton. They do not have a specific timeline for the alleged murder but have asked the public for any "information or footage" from between 11pm on Tuesday and 3am on Wednesday.