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Australian police charge estranged husband with murder in B.C. woman's death

Police in Sydney have arrested a 28-year-old Australian man and he now faces a murder charge in connection with the death of his estranged wife who is originally from Surrey, B.C.

New South Wales Police found the body of 34-year-old Tatania Dokhotaru in a high-rise condo in late May and according to detectives, the couple's four-year-old son was in the unit with his mother for 18 hours after she died.

Dokhotaru had an Apprehended Violence Order against Danny Zayat, which is similar to a protection order in Canada.

Despite the AVO, Dokhotaru's former partner was also in the condo with his son when police discovered Dokhotaru's body.

Police arrested Zayat and he was charged with 18 domestic violence related offences – but the investigation into Dokhotaru's death would not yield charges for another three months.

Zayat has been out on bail for most of that time but on Monday detectives arrested him again and he is now charged in Dokhotaru's murder.

According to Australian media, he has already had his first court appearance and has not made an application for bail.

A separate critical incident investigation is also underway to look into the way police handled an emergency call from the same condo tower the day before Dokhotaru's body was discovered.

Police say a dispatcher took the call just before midnight from a woman saying she was being assaulted by someone in her apartment who was trying to steal money.

It took officers three hours to respond to the call, and when they did they could not locate the caller in the 297-unit building.

"She provided no name, and the address for that phone call was a large block of units here in Liverpool,” NSWP Asst. Comm. Stuart Smith said at the time.

Police would find Dokhotaru’s body at 8:00 p.m. the next day after being called by a neighbour.

"For her to actually be that scared and call for help and not get it is absolutely devastating," said Amber Haleta, a longtime friend of Dokhotaru who still lives in B.C.

Dokhotaru had been living in Sydney for more than a decade.

Her four-year-old son is now living with family in B.C.

None of the allegations against Zayat has been proven in court and he will make another appearance on the domestic violence and murder charges next month. Top Stories

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