Body in chest: Woman dead for weeks

 

THE body of a woman killed in a suspected murder-suicide was found in a furniture chest and had been there for at least a week, police believe.

A crime scene remains in place at the Sapphire apartment building as investigators continue to examine the scene where the bodies of the 48-year-old woman and her 53-year-old defacto partner of 10 years were found on Friday morning.

Speaking at a media conference Saturday morning, Gold Coast District Detective Inspector Chris Ahearn said early investigations revealed the woman had suffered from a medical condition and that her partner was also her carer.

It is believed she died at least a week ago, with the man passing away more recently.

Insp Ahearn said police had identified the man, but were not yet able to positively identify the woman.

"There is some indication of the male person being responsible for the death of the female person," he said.

"That is one of the focuses of our investigation going forward.

"We understand these people have been in a relationship for about 10 years.

"Police haven't had contact with these people during that time, there was no domestic violence orders in place.

"One of the lines of our investigation is into the medical condition of the female person prior to her tragic death."

Gold Coast District Detective Inspector Chris Ahearn at the Surfers Paradise police station, following the suspicious death of a woman and the sudden death of a man in Labrador. Pic: Mike Batterham
Gold Coast District Detective Inspector Chris Ahearn at the Surfers Paradise police station, following the suspicious death of a woman and the sudden death of a man in Labrador. Pic: Mike Batterham

Insp Ahearn said the bodies were discovered by a building manager conducting a welfare check and there were not yet any obvious signs of a struggle in the unit.

He encouraged anyone with information about the incident to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

"It's a tragic event, we're pouring substantial resources into our investigation of it because we are intent on getting answers into how and why these two people have died," he said.

"We are currently preparing a report for the coroner."

Police towed the couple's car from the scene on Friday, and that is also being examined.

Insp Ahearn said more information would be available after a post mortem was conducted on Saturday.

"Our early indications are (the bodies were there) at least back to last weekend, there states indicate that they have been deceased for a period of time," he said.

"We believe the female person is in a more advanced state than the male."

Insp Ahearn said he could not comment too much on the scene, as forensic officers were still working on it.

"They are actually from Victoria originally, but we believe they have lived in this apartment for the past three years."

Unit complex at Labrador Following the suspicious death of a woman and the sudden death of a man in Labrador. Pic Mike Batterham
Unit complex at Labrador Following the suspicious death of a woman and the sudden death of a man in Labrador. Pic Mike Batterham

APRIL 23:

POLICE are investigating a suspected murder-suicide after a man and woman were found dead in a Gold Coast unit.

Police were called to the unit at the Sapphire at the Broadwater building around 10.20am after the body of a 53-year-old man was found.

Officers discovered the body of a 48-year-old woman at the unit a short time later.

Police forensics officers at the scene. Photo: Jacob Miley
Police forensics officers at the scene. Photo: Jacob Miley

 

Police vehicles outside the Sapphire at The Broadwater building. Photo: Jacob Miley.
Police vehicles outside the Sapphire at The Broadwater building. Photo: Jacob Miley.

A crime scene was declared at the building at 11.40am.

The Bulletin has been told police are investigating whether the deaths are a suspected murder suicide.

Forensic officers are on scene and a patrol car is parked outside of the front door of the unit complex.

Police would not say what the relationship of the two people was.

*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636. The Suicide Call Back service is on 1300 659 467. 

Sapphire at the Broadwater is a two tower complex with 62 two bedroom apartments, 14 three bedroom apartments and 1 four bedroom residential apartment, according to its developer Raptis.

Onlookers at the Sapphire at Broadwater have been peering over their balconies to watch the commotion below.

One neighbour, from the adjoining tower of the complex, said he saw police earlier in the day but thought nothing of it.

"And then I saw police on the ground floor of the courtyard," he said.

Resident Tess Lawrie was shocked to hear of the pair's death.

She said she only saw them together a few times.

"He was really happy and really smiley and pleasant," she told reporters.



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