A young woman charged over the death of an Indian student she met on a dating app has been described as “lovely girl” with a “troubled childhood”.
It’s believed Maulin Rathod, 25, went to a house at Ross Court in Sunbury on Monday evening after arranging to meet up with the 19-year-old he had met online.
Emergency services were called to the scene and discovered Mr Rathod with life-threatening injuries about 9pm.
The 25-year-old Elsternwick man was taken to Sunshine Hospital in a critical condition but died overnight.
The teenager was arrested at the scene and charged with intentionally causing serious injury. Her charges will be reviewed following his death and are expected to be upgraded to manslaughter or murder.
Neighbours said the teen was always friendly and polite to them.
“It’s a real shock,” Mick Jensen said. “She was a lovely girl. She was a quiet kid.”
Neighbours in the small court said the teen would sometimes knock on their doors and ask for money.
“We’ve given her money,” another man said. “She seems pretty good. She always spoke nicely.”
But the young woman, who neighbours believe had lived alone in the residential care home since she was in her mid-teens, had an angry side.
Police and paramedics were often seen at the home, which had bags of clothes and a large teddy bear in the front yard on Thursday morning.
The teen, who is understood to suffer from a mental illness, was sometimes heard swearing, screaming or crying.
“She had a troubled childhood,” Mr Jensen said. “It’s tragic. “It a sad thing on both sides.”
Before she turned age 18, the teen had two carers with her day and night. But since becoming an adult, carers would visit her instead.
“They would take her down the street,” the man said.“She could wander off whenever she liked.”
Neighbours said because emergency services were often at the house, they didn’t think anything of the commotion on Monday night, with some not hearing anything due to the wind.
“They had things happen there before,” the man said.
“But once I saw them taping the front off, I thought it must be something really serious.”
Lovepreet Singh, a friend of Mr Rathod, said he moved to Australia four years ago to study and was in the process of completing his Masters of Accounting.
Mr Singh said Mr Rathod was an only child and his parents had been left devastated by his violent and sudden death.
“His parents are in shock,” he said. “He was a very nice person. He had a jolly nature and he was a cricket lover. I loved to hang around him. He had a very humble personality and tried really hard with his studies.”
Mr Singh said Mr Rathod’s friends were banding together to raise money to send his body back to India so he could be buried near his family.
One of Mr Rathod’s childhood friends in Ahmedabad, India, told The Age that the man’s grieving family was in complete shock, and wanted answers about his death.
“His parents … I just can’t explain their condition,” said the man, who did not want his name published.
“He was the only son to his parents … And now we are raising funds to get the body back to India so we can do our religious ceremony and funeral.
“It was very shocking that he was killed. Maulin was very charming and pleasing … he would help anyone in need, if he was his friend or enemy.
“We used to play cricket on roads and spent almost all our time doing that,” he said.
The man said his friend loved the Australian culture and had told his family back home he liked living in the country.
The family were now looking for answers about how he died, he said.
“We must know the truth,” he said.
The 19-year-old faced Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday night and was remanded to reappear on Monday.