■ Father of Australian woman who was murdered in Suva speaks out
The family of an Australian woman who was murdered in Suva earlier this week is heartbroken.
Jennifer Ann Downes was found dead by Police officers in her house at Service Street in Domain on Tuesday afternoon.
Her father Chris Downes, who arrived in Suva from Australia on Wednesday night, told the Fiji Sun yesterday that it was a very difficult time for the family.
“We are heartbroken at the loss of
our daughter,” he said.
“She was a caring and vibrant logistician working in the South Pacific region. Through her humanitarian work over almost 20 years around the world she made many friends who are all grieving at this loss.”
Ms Downes worked as a logistician for the United Nations World Food Programme in Suva.
She married Henri Lusaka in November 2012 and the couple have three children.
Police say Mr Lusaka is the prime suspect. Mr Lusaka allegedly attempted to take his life on Tuesday afternoon at the couple’s house. He was in a stable condition at Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva last night.
Police have classified Ms Downes death as murder after a post-mortem was conducted at CWM Hospital on Thursday. However, they cannot publicly release the post-mortem examination result because the matter is still under investigation. Mr Downes said the funeral arrangements for Jennifer were yet to be finalised. On the whereabouts of her children, he said, “Please be assured that our three lovely grandchildren are with us and safe”. “They are in a safe, secure and loving environment. There are so many things that demand our attention.
“The Australian High Commission, the UN and the Fiji Police are being so helpful and are giving us
much assistance,” said Mr Downes.
Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said yesterday that there were no changes in the investigations because Mr Lusaka was still admitted in hospital. According to Mr Downes, Mr Lusaka is not an Australian citizen and he only has a Permanent Residency visa for Australia. He was not working in Fiji and never has.
He is originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The late Jennifer Ann Downes.