Employers fondly remember murdered Kiwi woman

Former Queenstown employers of a New Zealand woman killed in Melbourne by a man she had just begun a relationship with have been left reeling at news of her death.

Kate Bell (31) was killed by Rahul Patel (29), also a New Zealander, at his apartment early on Saturday.

Forty minutes after police were informed, Patel was found dead near the Richmond apartment in an apparent suicide, the Herald-Sun reported.

Miss Bell, who was from Christchurch, worked as an executive assistant and project co-ordinator for AJ Hackett Bungy in Queenstown for about a year from 2015 before joining the staff of Print Central.

AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand chief executive David Mitchell said Miss Bell was a much-loved member of the bungy family and a wonderful person.

"Kate was super positive, always had a smile on her face and nothing was too much trouble," Mr Mitchell said.

"Our hearts go out to her family and friends at this incredibly sad time."

Print Central office manager Kerry Hastie said Miss Bell worked for her for about six months from January 2017 before returning to Christchurch.

It was long enough to make an impression.

"She was a lovely girl, always a very positive, chirpy wee thing."

She summed the news up succinctly: "It’s shocking."

The Herald-Sun reported Miss Bell had begun a relationship with Patel only months ago and there were concerns about his mental health in the days leading up to her murder.

Miss Bell moved to Melbourne in 2018 and worked as a personal assistant at Deloitte before starting her new role as an executive assistant at building consultancy Rider Levett Bucknall in May.

Comments about Miss Bell from across the Tasman echoed those from Kiwi employers.

Rider Levett Bucknall director Tony Moleta told the Herald-Sun that she was a bright young woman who would be dearly missed by her colleagues.

"Kate will be remembered as someone that had a kind soul and never said a bad word about anything or anyone.

"She was always striving to achieve the best outcome for everyone around her and our lives will be better for having known her."

Patel’s LinkedIn profile shows that he worked as a facilities manager at CBRE
Global Investors and previously attended the University of Auckland.

Neighbours were reportedly woken to screaming before a man in a black hoodie was seen fleeing from the apartment block about 3.20am on Saturday.

By 4am Patel was discovered dead nearby, the Herald-Sun reported.


Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter