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Running tracks still safe to use after body found - police

By Kieran Campbell

Sofia Helen Athanassiou. Photo / supplied
Sofia Helen Athanassiou. Photo / supplied

Running tracks on Wellington's Mt Victoria are still safe to use despite the discovery of a woman's body in the area this week, police said today.

Sofia Helen Athanassiou's cause of death has not been determined since her body was found by a group of joggers off a running track near Alexandra Park above Wellington Girls' East College about 11am on Monday.

Detective Senior Sergeant Donna Howard said police wanted to reassure the community there were no issues in using the recreational tracks after concerns were raised by some people.

"We appreciate that some people in the community may be unsure about returning to the area, which is understandable in the circumstances,'' Ms Howard said.

"However, based on the good progress we have made on our investigation to date, including conclusion of the scene examination and interviews with witnesses, we are confident there is no reason why people cannot resume using the Mt Victoria town belt [and] Alexandra Park area.''

Police have looked into reports that Ms Athanassiou, 39, had a history of family violence but it was not the focus of the investigation, Ms Howard said.

"While the post-mortem showed Sofia had some minor injuries, we don't believe these are connected to her death, which remains unexplained,'' Ms Howard said.

"We've also spoken with a large number of people, including those close to Sofia, but at this stage are not focussing on any links to family violence.

"It's disappointing that speculation about Sofia's past is being circulated, particularly while her family are grieving and her death remains unexplained.''

Ms Howard said police were still awaiting the results of laboratory tests, which could be six weeks away.

Anyone with information that could help police should call the Wellington station on 04 381 2000 or Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

- APNZ

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