Cowes death rocks community


Cowes death rocks community

HOMICIDE Squad detectives have taken over the investigation into the suspected murder of Samantha Fraser in Cowes on Monday, July 23.
Police were initially called to conduct a welfare check on the 38 year old Cowes woman at a property on Seagrove Way on July 23. The alarm was raised after Samantha failed to pick up her three children, two girls and a boy, from a local primary school.
Police attended the property just after 4.30pm and located her body inside the garage. A post-mortem examination was subsequently conducted. Based on the circumstances of her death, police strongly believe her death to be suspicious.
Police are also investigating whether there was any interference with the crime scene. Investigators have spoken to Samantha’s former husband, Adrian Basham, a 42 year old Paynesville man, however he was released without charge and enquiries are ongoing.
Mr Basham was due to face charges in the Latrobe Magistrates Court yesterday (Monday) relating to nine counts of assault against Samantha. This case has been adjorned until November 1.
Friend and colleague, Alice Bradley said Samantha felt unsafe in the lead up to her death.
“She talked to me a little bit about her situation and there were obvious issues of domestic violence going on in the relationship,” she said.
Detectives are keen to speak to anyone who may have been seen entering the property on the day of Samantha’s death, or anyone who noticed any suspicious activity around her property over the previous days. They have been told she dropped her children off at school that morning and then had coffee with friends. Samantha told her friends she had a midday appointment, however she failed to show up for this.
“She was a beautiful person. She was friendly, kind, gentle, articulate and intelligent,” Ms Bradley said.
“She was a beautiful mother and she was very involved in the school her children go to. She lived for them and spent a lot of time doing activities for them and their friends.”
Ms Bradley said the incident had a huge impact on the community.
“Initially there were huge sorrows and grief which there still is, but it’s bonded the community and they’ve really come together to mourn somebody who has touched so many lives,” she said.
Ms Bradley set up a Facebook page for people to donate money to Samantha’s children which has already raised close to $48,000.
Marian Orr wrote, “As a friend and work colleague for many years we enjoyed many laughs together. You touched the life of so many. The world is now a sadder place.”
Kelly Colthurst said, “Our coffee date last week will be treasured forever.
“Thinking of everyone affected, especially your beautiful children, so, so sad.”
Grieving friends, colleagues and local families carried white balloons, wore white ribbons, laid flowers and lit candles during a moving candlelight vigil at the Cowes Cultural Centre on Saturday night in a show of support for the suspected murdered Phillip Island psychologist and mother.
The vigil attracted a large crowd including Samantha’s dad Trevor Fraser who put on a brave face to thank the community for its support and urged people who may have any information to come forward to help police. Following the vigil and to take a stand a stand against domestic violence, people are being encouraged to wear white ribbons.
There is a plan to tie big white ribbons around all the cypress trees along Thompson Avenue in Cowes. Police would like to speak to anyone who can provide information on Samantha’s movements between 11am and 3.30pm on Monday, July 23.
They are also asking anyone who has dashcam footage taken on Monday, July 23 on Phillip Island to download and secure the footage, and then contact Crime Stoppers. Investigators are interested in footage taken in the vicinity of Seagrove Way, or between Seagrove Way and San Remo.
They would also like to hear from anyone with CCTV footage from Seagrove Way or surrounding streets on the day of Samantha’s death.
Anyone with information or with footage is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at

Remembering her: mourners reflect on the life of Samantha Fraser during a vigil at Cowes on Saturday evening.

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Posted by on Jul 31 2018. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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