An Australian man has been charged with murder in the slaying of a B.C. woman who was found dead in her Sydney apartment earlier this year.
Danny Zayat, 28, has been charged in the killing of his wife, 34-year-old Tatiana Dokhotaru. Dokhotaru moved to Australia in 2012 and the couple had a son together.
Dokhotaru’s body was found in an apartment in the Liverpool suburb on May 27, according to the New South Wales Police Force.
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On Monday, local police executed a search warrant a home in Saint Clair, about 30 kilometres northwest of Liverpool, and arrested an unnamed 28-year-old suspect.
New South Wales court records, however, show that Zayat appeared in court on a criminal matter in Penrith, a town west of Sydney, on Monday.
Global News has reached out to the Australia’s Federal Prosecution Service for comment.
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In a Monday news release, the New South Wales Police Force said the man they arrested was denied bail and set to appear at Penrith Local Court on Monday.
“A separate critical incident investigation is continuing into all other circumstances surrounding the incident,” the police force wrote.
“This is being conducted by Fairfield City Police Area Command and will be subject to independent review.”
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Friends and family in Canada have mourned Dokhotaru’s death.
In June, Amber Haleta told Global News she had spent days creating posters with pictures of Dokhotaru, whom she met for the first time in Surrey, B.C.
She described Dokhotaru as the “kindest, sweetest, most loving, caring,” person.
“She met people all over the world and they fell in love with her instantly,” Haleta said. “There was nothing not to love about her.”
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Haleta has alleged that after moving to Australia, Dokhotaru began to complain about domestic abuse and sent videos of her injuries. She didn’t approach the police sooner, however, reportedly over concerns that her son would go without a father.
“She said, ‘I can’t take (my son) away from his (father). I can’t have my son not have a father, ” Haleta said. “And ultimately, she lost her life.”
Haleta told Global News that Dokhotaru had returned to Vancouver to visit her parents last summer. She allegedly moved out of the home she shared with Zayat when she got back to Liverpool.
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The New South Wales Police Force has previously told Global News that an anonymous call was made to report domestic abuse nearly 20 hours before Dokhotaru’s body was found.
Officers reportedly searched her building for the caller but couldn’t locate them.
Police were called to building around 8 p.m. on May 27, and found Dokhotaru.
A candlelight vigil was organized for Dokhotaru in Surrey in June.
— With files from Julia Foy and Darrian Matassa-Fung
© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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