| 09.03,19. 02:57 PM |
Man charged with murder of Sydney woman
A man has been charged with murder by police searching for missing Sydney woman Samah Baker
Samah Baker knew the man who allegedly killed her, police say, as they continue to search for the Sydney woman's body and a car they believe is linked to her murder.
Ms Baker was last seen by a friend after being dropped at her Parramatta home on Early Street in the early hours of January 4.
Relatives reported the 30-year-old missing later that day after they couldn't get in touch with her.
Local detectives, with help from the homicide squad, launched an immediate investigation, and on Wednesday began a forensic search of bushland at Yarra, southwest of Goulburn.
Officers found several items they believe may be relevant to the investigation and are now having them forensically tested.
On Friday, detectives arrested James Hachem at a shopping centre in Hurstville and charged him with murder.
The 32-year-old did not appear when his matter was briefly mentioned at Parramatta Bail Court on Saturday, in part due to a strike by prison officers.
His lawyer told reporters outside court Hachem had been co-operating with police up until his arrest.
"He's taken part in statements and provided the police with some crucial information they're currently working from," Warwick Korn said on Saturday.
The case has been adjourned until Tuesday.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Julie Boon described Hachem as an "acquaintance" of Ms Baker but would not detail the nature of their relationship.
"At this stage, police are just looking at one person but investigations are continuing," she told reporters at Parramatta on Saturday.
Investigators are now appealing for anyone who saw a 2014 silver Mitsubishi Lancer on Early Street between 1am and 4am on January 4, or along the Hume Highway between 5pm later that day and 5am on January 5.
"Police believe a person of interest was in a silver Mitsubishi Lancer and it is related to the disappearance of Samah," Supt Boon said.
Ms Baker's family were "extremely distressed" after being told of Hachem's arrest, she said.
"We are of course hopeful that Samah's body will be found so her family can put her to rest."