The distressed mother of Courtney Herron at the logs where Courtney's body was discovered. Picture: Sarah MatraySource:News Corp Australia
The distressed mother of Courtney Herron at the logs where Courtney's body was discovered. Picture: Sarah MatraySource:News Corp Australia

Mum's unimaginable anguish over daughter's death

The heartbroken family of killed Melbourne woman Courtney Herron has visited the site where her brutally bashed body was found.

The 25-year-old's mother, grandmother, uncle, arrived at Royal Park this afternoon where they laid flowers and wept over the logs where she was found.

Her grandmother and mother held each other and cried as they left white and pink roses for the slain girl.

The devastating visit came as a vigil was announced to remember Ms Herron, to be held at Royal Park on Friday at 5pm.

Earlier today, the man accused of the brutal bashing murder of Melbourne woman Courtney Herron has appeared briefly in court.

Henry Hammond, 27, was arrested on Sunday afternoon, a day after Ms Herron's body was found behind logs at Royal Park in Parkville, a short walk from Melbourne Zoo.

Mr Hammond, of no fixed address, wore no shoes, appeared to have a black eye and smiled as he sat in the dock at the Melbourne Magistrates' Court this morning. He was clean shaven and has shoulder-length brown hair.

Friends were surprised she had become homeless before her death. Picture: Mark Stewart
Friends were surprised she had become homeless before her death. Picture: Mark Stewart

The court heard Mr Hammond was previously diagnosed with ADHD and has "possible delusional disorder", "possible autism spectrum disorder" and has been prescribed Ritalin.

The 27-year-old nodded when he was told he will be remanded in custody to appear again on September 16.

The court heard prosecutors will go over CCTV footage, and a forensic analysis of Ms Herron's body will be carried out.

Mr Hammond, who turns 28 on Wednesday, lists himself as single on a number of different social media profiles.

His profiles indicate he has fathered two children and spent time overseas after the birth of his second child.

Mr Hammond's lawyer Bernie Balmer told 9 News his client had been caught up in a "very tragic and complicated situation".

Ms Herron was found by dog walkers in Royal Park, off Elliot Avenue in Parkville in inner city Melbourne, about 9.15am Saturday.

Homicide squad Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper said there appeared to have been some attempts made to conceal the body.

"The level of violence involved here was extreme in my view," he told reporters on Sunday. "This was a particularly, particularly horrendous attack."

The exact cause of death was yet to be determined, and police do not believe Ms Herron's death was sexually-motivated.

"Homicide Squad detectives arrested and interviewed the 27-year-old on Sunday and charged him overnight with one count of murder," Victoria Police said in a statement this morning.

Ms Herron was described as having a “heart of gold.”
Ms Herron was described as having a “heart of gold.”

Inspector Stamper said Ms Herron had not been couch surfing and sleeping rough, as well as struggling with drug and mental health issues.

The last confirmed sighting of the 25-year-old was on May 14 at St Albans when she was in contact with police.

Ms Herron tried to call her former boyfriend Terrick Edwards shortly before she was killed, according to The Age. Mr Edwards' sister said he felt responsible for "not being able to offer her a safe place" to stay.

Her friends have remembered her as a young woman with a smile that could light up a room, saying she had a heart of gold, according to 9 News.

One of her former teachers expressed deep sadness at hearing of Ms Herron's death, saying she was shocked to hear Ms Herron had been homeless.

"It horrifies me to think of her last terrifying moments, and being alone," she said.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday said more was required to protect women from being attacked.

"This is a terrible tragedy," he said.

"This is not about the way women behave, this is not about where women are at what hour."

In an interview with the ABC, a coach from nearby North Park Tennis Club said the discovery of Ms Herron's body was "confronting".

"It's very bad … it's pretty confronting," tennis coach Gabriel Moise said. "It is fairly dark in the morning. When I open up here (at the tennis courts), it's pitch black."

The park where Ms Herron was found is 1.6km from Princes Park, where aspiring comedian Eurydice Dixon's body was found on June 12 last year.

A number of women have been killed and dumped on Melbourne's streets since Ms Dixon's rape and murder.

Aiia Maasarwe, 21, an exchange student, was killed after disembarking from a tram as she made her way home alone after going to a comedy show with friends.

Her body was found in shrubs about 50m from a tram stop near La Trobe University on January 15. Codey Herrmann was charged with her rape and murder three days later.

Geelong woman Natalina Angok, 32, was killed last month. Her body was discovered in a Chinatown alleyway in Melbourne's CBD on April 24.

Christopher Bell, the victim's boyfriend, was charged with her murder.