Heartfelt messages after mother's murder

By Hana Garrett-Walker, Matthew Backhouse

Police watch over a Tawa house where a woman's body was found.  Photo / Mark Mitchell
Police watch over a Tawa house where a woman's body was found. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Heartfelt messages have been sent to the family of a Wellington mother of two, murdered at her home yesterday, after a man appeared in court today charged with her murder.

Amanda Dawn Taufale, 33, died at her home on Sunrise Boulevard, Tawa shortly before 8am.

Police last night charged Ernest Smith with her murder after earlier appealing for public help to find him.

He appeared in Porirua District Court this morning and was remanded in custody until December 7.

Ms Taufale lived with her 15-year-old son Liam, who she had with separated husband David Taufale, and a six-month-old baby.

Police said both children were at home at the time of what police described as "a violent death".

Ms Taufale's mother-in-law, Sera Taufale, this morning said her grandson Liam had found his mother.

The news of her death had come as a shock.

"When the detective told me that sad thing happened, I felt like screaming my head off," Mrs Taufale said.

Police today said more than 70 people had been spoken to this morning when police canvassed train commuters at the Takapu Railway Station in Tawa.

A late model blue Toyota Hatchback, registered to Smith, was found near the station yesterday morning.

Police are now appealing for any sightings of a teal green or blue 1994 Mazda Lantis hatchback, registration BDS894, with a red driver's door.

It was taken from a Tawa address and could have been left in the Makara area on Wednesday, police said.

A tribute Facebook page for Ms Taufale had gained more than 250 followers within hours of it being created, and people continued to send their love to Ms Taufale's family.

Prue Elwood said her thoughts went out to all the family.

And Marlene Tagata said Ms Taufale would never be forgotten.

"Love and thoughts to the taufale family. prayers and thoughts for u all ... love u taufale family. xxx"

The officer in charge of the homicide investigation, Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Oxnam, said last night's arrest would come as a relief to Ms Taufale's family.

"The investigation team is still working hard to understand the exact events leading up to Amanda's death. At this stage, we are not looking for anyone else in connection with her death."

A post mortem examination was being carried out today.

- APNZ

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