If you or someone you know is impacted by family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 11:
Justin Kain Ellard, 36, has appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court charged with the murder of Jacinta Pompei in a Kennington unit between July 20 and 21.
He sat silently via video link and did not apply for bail.
His case was put off until a special mention in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court on February 3.
Ellard was charged with the murder in a unit on Mijuda Court.
UPDATE JULY 21, 4pm:
Justin Kain Ellard will remain in police custody until his next court date on November 11, accused of the murder of Kennington woman Jacinta Pompei.
Ellard appeared in the Bendigo Magistrates’ Court via video link on Tuesday, unshaven and in a blue jumper. He did not apply for bail.
Police allege Ellard murdered 32-year-old Ms Pompei sometime between July 20 and 21 in a Mijuda Court unit.
Ellard sat with his arms crossed during the six minute hearing. His only words during proceedings were to ask Magistrate Richard Wright to speak up.
The court heard Ellard, who is a diagnosed schizophrenic, may be vulnerable in custody due to his “age and appearance”.
It was the 35-year-old’s first time in adult custody.
UPDATE 12.15pm: Justin Ellard has faced court, charged with the murder of Kennington woman Jacinta Pompei. He did not apply for bail and was remanded in custody to again appear in court on November 11.
UPDATE 11.30am: Police believe the body is that of 32-year-old Kennington woman Jacinta Pompei, although formal identification is yet to be made.
UPDATE 11.29am: Two women have been escorted by police into a neighbouring flat, which is believed to have been empty when the incident occurred.
Forensic officers remain on scene removing evidence.
UPDATE 11.10am: Police have charged a 35-year-old Kennington man with one count of murder.
He will front the Bendigo Magistrates' Court soon.
UPDATE 11.05am: The Bendigo Advertiser understands the woman was struck to the head with a hammer.
UPDATE 10.45am: Parents are advised to speak openly and honestly with their children about the suspected homicide of a woman in Kennington this morning.
Anna Centre psychologist Kim Holmberg said parents should take note of their children’s reactions.
“Kids are often quite aware of all these events and can become quite distressed and worried,” he said.
Mijuda Court, where the woman was found dead, is close to Kennington and St Therese primary schools.
Mr Holmberg said parents needed to respond honestly to their children’s questions.
“Always listen and listen closely to what kids are saying; if they’re expressing anxiety or fear,” he said.
“Find out what the child already knows about the incident so they’re not mistaken about the facts.”
Mr Holmberg said parents could discuss their own feelings about the incident with their children.
“Don’t burden your child with your anxieties, but tell them what they need to know,” he said.
“Observe your child and note any changes; if they can’t sleep or are wetting the bed or feeling despondent, follow up on that and take note, especially if you live nearby or they go to school nearby.”
If children are continuing to express anxiety, Mr Holmberg recommended parents consult a mental health professional.
UPDATE 10.37am: "I think I heard a scream, but maybe I was dreaming," one neighbour who lives directly opposite the house has told the Bendigo Advertiser this morning.
UPDATE 10.15am: Victoria Police forensic officers are on scene in Mijuda Court while homicide squad detectives are at the Bendigo Police Station, where the man is being held in custody pending further inquiries.
Two forensics vans, a police car and at least one detective’s car remains on scene.
A large media contingent also stands nearby.
Media has arrived in Bendigo as police investigate woman's death pic.twitter.com/UfGG9pym56— Peter Lenaghan (@peterlenaghan) July 20, 2015
UPDATE 9.50am: Just repeating that anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au
UPDATE 9.38am: Tributes for the woman have started to flow in on social media this morning.
Here is some of what is being said on the Bendigo Advertiser Facebook page:
Sonia Hayes: Rip to the women who lost her life
Jenni Roulston: RIP to the family and loved ones of this lady. Terrible news
Tammara Wiles: This is right around the corner from me. R.I.P to the girl who sadly lost her life last night
Kym McKnight Link Colliver: Very sad news my heart goes out for her love ones!!!
Leesh Sendall: Rest in peace to the poor girl xxx
Lis Martion: RIP thoughts with family and friends
Lyn O'Brien: Condolences to family & friends XXXOOO
Lola Frank: My prayers and thoughts are with the family and friends of this poor lady.. RIP
UPDATE 9.16am: The man in custody is 35 years old and is assisting police with inquiries, a Victoria Police media spokesperson said.
No details have been released about the woman as police are still contacting next of kin.
UPDATE 9.15am: One neighbouring couple has lived in Mijuda Court since 1978 and said the area had a high turnover of people due to the number of flats and rentals.
“Occasionally a young hoon will do a burnout but that's about as exciting as it gets,” they said.
“We're waiting to hear who it was, we hope it wasn't flat two because we know them.”
UPDATE 8.40am: An Ambulance Victoria spokesperson said paramedics were called to the Mijuda Court address at 1.20am for reports of a serious assault.
When they arrived, the woman was dead, the spokesperson said.
UPDATE 8.30am: A neighbour has told homicide detectives she heard nothing this morning and was not aware of any history of violence.
Neighbour Paul Bonnici, who lives directly opposite the house, also heard nothing.
"I'm very surprised, it's usually pretty quiet around here."
He has lived in area for six months and was unaware of any trouble.
EARLIER: A man has been arrested after a woman’s body was found at a Bendigo home this morning.
Emergency services were called to Mijuda Court in Kennington just before 1.15am after reports a woman was deceased at that location.
The woman, who is yet to be formally identified, was found dead when police arrived.
The exact circumstances surrounding the woman’s death are yet to be established, but police have described it as a fatal assault.
A man was arrested at the scene and is helping police with their inquiries.
Homicide Squad detectives are en route and the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au