Tawa murder accused in court

A 38-year-old man has appeared in court charged with the murder of a mother found dead in her Wellington home yesterday.

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 they say was "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.

Amanda and David Taufale separated a long time ago but she remained close to her in-laws.

"We all get along with Amanda, she's a very kind-hearted woman. And every rugby game her son goes to, every game she's there. And she always comes and meets with us."

David Taufale is returning from Australia to be with his family this afternoon.

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 will be carried out today.

Police are still appealing for anyone who saw a late model blue Toyota Hatchback, registration GMB108, to come forward.

Officers this morning spoke to commuters at Takapu Railway Station, seeking sightings of the car and its occupants since Wednesday.

- Matthew Backhouse and Hana Garrett-Walker of APNZ

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