Melville: Police seek help over Valeria Fermendjin’s murder one year on


Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Brett Fowler and Acting Detective Sergeant Lawler at the site of the mobile policing facility investigating the death of Valeria Fermendjin. Picture: Matt Jelonek.
Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Brett Fowler and Acting Detective Sergeant Lawler at the site of the mobile policing facility investigating the death of Valeria Fermendjin. Picture: Matt Jelonek.

POLICE have returned to Leach Highway to call for public help with the investigation on the one-year anniversary of the death of 70-year-old grandmother Valeria Fermendjin.

In particular, police want to speak with two people believed to have walked west along Leach Highway around the time of Valeria’s death to contact them as they may have information that could help the ongoing investigation.

Their image was taken from footage recorded by a passing bus on January 5 last year.

The Major Crime Squad fielded information from 20 people on Thursday at its mobile policing facility near the corner of Stock Road and Leach Highway.

Two more detectives manned a table outside the adjacent Woolworths.

Acting Detective Senior Sergeant Brett Fowler read a statement from Valeria’s daughter Violeta and son-in-law Ivan.

“Today marks one year since mum was tragically taken away from us in a cowardly act that continues to haunt our family,” the statement read.

“We plead with anyone with knowledge of Valeria’s death to come forward and provide this information to police.”

Police also want to speak with a man who called them on January 19 at 12.15pm to get in touch with police again.

Acting Det. Sen. Sgt Fowler said Ms Fermendjin lived near a busy intersection so there was a strong likelihood someone passing by would have seen something that could help the ongoing investigation.

Police believe Ms Fermendjin, found dead in her Leach Highway home last Thursday, was murdered during the course of a burglary.

The grandmother ran an ironing business from her home and collected washing from a client that morning, returning at or shortly after 7.30am.

Major Crime Squad Detective Inspector Mark Fyfe said police believed at that point Mrs Fermendjin disturbed one or more people robbing her house.

Mrs Fermendjin was killed with an object located on her property that was left at the scene.

Several items were taken from her home, including a Russian-made black leather handbag that is embossed on both sides, has a zip top and a metal buckle.

Anyone who has information can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a report online at www.crimestopperswa.com.au.