Otago Daily Times

Em­ploy­ers fondly re­mem­ber mur­dered Kiwi wo­man

- JARED MOR­GAN jared.mor­gan@odt.co.nz

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 Herald­Sun re­ported.

Miss Bell, who was from Christchur­ch, worked as an ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant and project co­or­di­na­tor 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 much­loved 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 Herald­Sun 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 Her­aldSun 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 Herald­Sun re­ported.

 ??  ?? Kate Bell
Kate Bell

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