ACT News

Man charged over Calwell murder

A 40-year-old man has been charged with murder after a woman, 28, was found dead in her Calwell home with an axe beside her on Saturday afternoon. 

Police investigate the death of a woman at a Calwell home on Saturday.
Police investigate the death of a woman at a Calwell home on Saturday. Photo: Jay Cronan

The man will appear in the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday morning after police discovered the woman, believed to be a single mother, lying on the laundry floor at the rear of the Duggan Street villa with severe head injuries.

The victim's neighbours told The Canberra Times the young woman was "nice" and residents were in disbelief that such a tragedy had struck the usually quiet suburban street.

Police tape around a Calwell home where a woman, 28, died on Saturday.
Police tape around a Calwell home where a woman, 28, died on Saturday. Photo: Jay Cronan

Police said they were called to the complex about 4.40pm following reports of a "major disturbance" after a person forced their way into the home.

They cordoned off an area with 10 villas inside and started  an investigation.

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On Saturday night police said a man found at the scene was helping with enquiries.

He was taken into custody by police and later charged in the ACT Watch House.

The Calwell home where a woman died remained taped off on Sunday.
The Calwell home where a woman died remained taped off on Sunday.  Photo: Jay Cronan

ACT Policing Sergeant Jason Kennedy said residents were safe to be in their homes.

Police would not be drawn on the relationship between the man and woman but said her death was "a contained incident".

Forensic investigators stayed at the home until about 4am and were expected to return to collect further evidence on Sunday afternoon.

Three cars were parked out the front of the property, which remained taped off and under police guard.

One neighbour said the woman's children were among a large group of people at the house at the time of her alleged killing.

"She's the same age as me, she's a single mum. We both have young kids who played together."

The woman had lived in the complex for about two years and was often seen working in the garden, the neighbour said.

"She worked, you could tell she was a really hard worker.

"You wouldn't expect her to be involved with anything untoward."

Several neighbours were helping to organise counselling for residents of the complex.

"Everyone's with everyone," the neighbour said.

"No-one went to bed until late and we were up early having a cuppa."

Another resident who went to the woman's home to offer help before police arrived said residents were in "disbelief".

"She was nice, she was great. If she was walking up here to get the mail, we'd talk.

"No-one can believe it. It's normally a quiet area and people, if they're coming and going, will give you a wave."

He said he had met the man previously.

A neighbour who had lived in the complex for 15 years agreed it was usually very peaceful:

"There are a fair few renters. It's not what you'd call a party neighbourhood."

Another resident was in her backyard when she heard shouts coming from the home on Saturday afternoon. 

"Then, soon after, the police cars and ambulance arrived.

"I tell you, it shakes you up a bit when it happens so close to home."

Police would not release the woman's name and said there were welfare matters that needed to be dealt with. 

An autopsy was expected to be carried out in coming days. Support had been offered to the woman's family.

A group of people who appeared distressed were escorted into the taped-off complex by police on Saturday night. 

Onlookers were distressed by a heavy police presence in the suburb.