On Saturday, March 6, 21-year-old aged care worker, Jasmeen Kaur was reported missing by her aunt.
Having last been seen leaving her workplace in North Plympton, Adelaide on Friday night, concerns were raised for the young woman’s whereabouts when she did not arrive at work the next day.
After reporting her missing, police found her car still parked at her Southern Cross Homes workplace in Adelaide.
On Sunday, March 7, police spoke to a 20-year-old man who Jasmeen knew, who subsequently told police he could take them to where her body was buried near Hawker, over 430km north of where she had last been seen.
“[The man] agreed to show detectives a grave in the Moralana Creek bed where he said she had been buried,” Detective Superintendent Des Bray said on Monday afternoon.
Upon arrival at the scene, police were able to establish that the body buried in the shallow grave was Jasmeen Kaur, and became satisfied that “Jasmeen had not died at her own hands”.
The 20-year-old, whose identity is being legally protected, was originally charged with failure to report a death to the coroner, but following further interviews, was also charged with murder on Monday, March 8.
In a court appearance via videolink, the man denied being involved in Ms Kaur’s death.
“We believe it to be extremely unlikely that Jasmeen left willingly with anybody and are investigating that possibility that she was taken by force,” Detective Superintendent Bray said, addressing the media.
Police have been working to piece together Jasmeen’s last hours on Friday, March 5, using Safe-T-Cams to track a 2009 blue metallic Commodore with the number plates S267CJ which the man is believed to have been driving on the five-hour drive from Adelaide to the Flinders Ranges.
“We’re asking anybody who might have seen either that vehicle, or a similar person loitering in the car park, apparently waiting for someone or in contact with Jasmeen,” Detective Superintendent Bray said.
“It’s also possible that people may have seen that person in the weeks leading up to her death attempting to make observations at those premises.”
According to Detective Superintendent Bray, police have established a cause of death for Ms Kaur, however are not releasing that information to the public.
A memorial service in Jasmeen Kaur’s honour was held yesterday at an Adelaide Sihk Temple.
Ms Kaur’s family, who she was living with while working in aged care and studying to be a nurse, did not attend the memorial service, which was open to a large community of international students who have been shocked and affected by her tragic death.
In a statement released by Southern Cross Care’s CEO David Moran, Jasmeen Kaur was described as “a much loved and respected member of our Bucklands Residential Care team.”
“Jasmeen was a beautiful soul and was always so kind and sweet to residents. She will be sorely missed.”
“This tragic news comes as a shock to our community particularly Bucklands Residential Care staff, residents and their families, some of whom formed a close bond with Jasmeen during her time with us. Our hearts ache for Jasmeen’s family and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this incredibly difficult time.”
The 20-year-old accused of her murder will remain in police custody until at least December after police prosecutors requested a nine-month adjournment to prepare for the trial.