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Multiple investigations underway after B.C. woman’s suspicious death in Australia

Police in Australia are investigating the suspicious death of a woman who used to live in Surrey, B.C., after her body was found in her apartment on the outskirts of Sydney.

A separate investigation has also been launched to look into the way police handled an emergency call the night before from a woman saying she was being assaulted in the same building.

Thirty-four-year-old Tatania Dokhotaru had an Apprehended Violence Order against her estranged partner which is similar to a protection order here in Canada.

Despite the AVO, police say they found 28-year-old Danny Zayat and the couple’s four-year-old son in the apartment when they located Dokhotaru’s body.

Zayat was arrested and faces a total of 18 domestic violence charges in relation to previous complaints from Dokhotaru.

He is being held without bail.

Friends say Dokhotaru sent them numerous pictures and videos of alleged domestic violence injuries over the course of the relationship but she stayed with her estranged partner because they had a child together.

"Of course using children is going to be a way in which abusers can stay in a survivor's life. My heart goes out to that little boy and to the family,” said Karen Alcantara, a domestic violence counsellor with the Salal Sexual Violence Support Centre.

Dokhotaru moved to Sydney more than a decade ago and her parents still live in B.C.

"No parent should ever have to outlive their child. We cry out for justice and have faith the truth will prevail. Please pray for us,” Olga Dokhotaru said in a statement to 9 News Australia.

New South Wales Police say an emergency dispatcher took a call just before midnight on Friday, May 26 from a woman claiming she was being assaulted and that someone was trying to take money from her in her apartment.

It took officers three hours to respond, 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,” said NSWP Asst. Comm. Stuart Smith.

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

An independent critical incident investigation will look into whether the police response to the initial emergency call was appropriate.

In the meantime, no charges have been laid in connection to Dokhotaru’s death which is being investigated by the NSWP homicide unit. Top Stories

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