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A mother of two suffered a violent attack at her Wellington home and could have lain dead for days before her body was found, police say.
The woman, a 37-year-old Chinese national, was discovered at her Miramar property yesterday by a friend who had not heard from her for days.
"It's apparent she suffered a violent death,'' Detective Senior Sergeant John van den Heuvel told reporters today.
He would not confirm the woman's name until her family had been contacted.
A 58-year-old man, who knew the woman, has been arrested for breaching a protection order against her.
He appeared in the Wellington District Court today and was released on bail.
Mr van den Heuvel would not say if the man was a suspect in the woman's death.
The man was arrested at a nearby suburb, he said.
A court charge sheet said the man had allegedly sent the woman correspondence sometime between Thursday and Sunday.
The last time the woman was heard from was Thursday and police wanted to speak with anyone who had seen vehicles around her home between Thursday evening and yesterday afternoon.
The woman had two children, aged 7 and 9, but they were not at the house when the attack took place.
They were told of their mother's death this morning and were now being cared for by another family member, Mr van den Heuvel said.
Police were working with Chinese authorities to contact the woman's family.
The woman, a New Zealand resident, had arrived in the country in 2006.
Mr van den Heuvel said a post-mortem examination of the woman would take place tomorrow and they hoped to know the exact cause of death.
A forensic examination of her property was continuing today and would finish in a few days, he said.
One neighbour, who did not want to be named, told APNZ the woman was "very nice, bubbly, always laughing''.
It was "terribly sad'' because the woman had two primary-aged children who lived with her but spent some weekends with their father.
The neighbour said she wasn't frightened, but just very sad about the incident.