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Man arrested after woman’s body found in unit

A man has been arrested over the death of Tatiana
A man has been arrested over the death of Tatiana "Tania" Dokhotaru in a Sydney unit earlier this year. Picture: Instagram

The estranged partner of a woman who was found dead inside her Sydney unit has been charged with her murder.

Tatiana Dokhotaru, 34, was found dead in her apartment on Norfolk St in Liverpool about 8pm on May 27.

On Monday morning, police arrested her former partner Danny Zayat, 28, at his Colyton unit.

He has been charged with her murder.

Tatiana Dokhotaru was found dead in a Sydney unit. Picture: Instagram
Tatiana Dokhotaru was found dead in a Sydney unit. Picture: Instagram

Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said the alleged murder was “domestic violence-related” and the homicide squad took carriage of the case due to the “gravity and severity” of the alleged crime.

Police will allege in court that Mr Zayat assaulted his former partner to the point of her death.

They will allege this occurred shortly after a triple-0 phone call was made on May 26 – the night before her body was found.

“It doesn’t get much worse in relation to a woman being killed in her own unit,” Superintendent Doherty said.

According to court documents, police allege Ms Dokhotaru was murdered some time between 11.36pm on May 26 and 8pm the following evening.

Mr Zayat appeared in Penrith Local Court on Monday, still wearing the same high-vis hoodie he was arrested in earlier in the morning.

Mr Zayat was previously charged with 22 domestic violence offences relating to Ms Dokhotaru, including choking without consent, breaching an AVO, assault occasioning bodily harm, common assault and destroying or damaging property.

The court was told on Monday that the domestic charges were related to the murder allegation.

He was bailed in the NSW Supreme Court in July before he was arrested and charged with murder on Monday.

The matter was adjourned for Mr Zayat to appear in court next month.

It has been three months since her death. Picture: Instagram
It has been three months since her death. Picture: Instagram
Danny Zayat has been charged with her murder. Picture: Supplied
Danny Zayat has been charged with her murder. Picture: Supplied

One of the first phone calls police made after charging Mr Zayat was to Ms Dokhotaru’s mother Olya, who lives in Canada.

“She was very happy and thankful for the police who have been heavily involved with them over the last several months,” Superintendent Doherty said.

Detectives recently returned from Canada where they spent time interviewing her family and friends to piece together crucial details.

Danny Zayat, 28, has been charged with the murder of his former partner Tatiana Dokhotaru. Picture: NSW Police
NSW Police released footage of the arrest on Monday. Picture: NSW Police

Chilling phone call night before body found

Police have revealed that a triple-0 call was made from Ms Dokhotaru’s phone the night before she was found dead inside her apartment.

Last week, Superintendent Doherty said police were on the hunt for her mobile phone in the hope it might possess fresh clues as to what happened in her final hours.

“Just before midnight there was a call to triple-0 and it ended abruptly,” he said.

The 34-year-old allegedly made a phone call to police the night before her body was found. Picture: Instagram
The 34-year-old allegedly made a phone call to police the night before her body was found. Picture: Instagram
Mr Zayat is due to face court on Monday. Picture: Supplied
Mr Zayat is due to face court on Monday. Picture: Supplied

Police allege the phone was thrown from the 22nd floor apartment moments later.

Strike Force Median investigators have released CCTV footage of the apartment block the night before Ms Dokhotaru’s body was found.

Police allege the footage shows an iPhone 14 belonging to Ms Dokhotaru being thrown out of a window that matches the location of her apartment shortly before midnight.

The phone has never been recovered.

A phone flies from the balcony of this Liverpool apartment. Picture NSW Police.JPG
What police allege is a phone flies from the balcony of this Liverpool apartment. Picture NSW Police
A phone flies from the balcony of this Liverpool apartment. Picture NSW Police.JPG
A flash light police believe may have been a phone. Picture NSW Police

Investigators said they were hoping someone may have located a phone in the vicinity of Norfolk and Bathurst streets around the time of the death and could hold vital clues that could help police understand what happened in Ms Dokhotaru’s final hours.

Last week, strike force detectives flew to Canada to meet with Ms Dokhotaru’s family to gather further information about her life and associates in Australia.

Detectives were also canvassing the Liverpool area for CCTV and witnesses who may be able to assist with identifying her last movements.

A critical incident investigation into all other circumstances surrounding Ms Dokhotaru’s death was running separately from the criminal investigation and will be the subject to an independent review.