A woman was murdered by her estranged partner after she refused to reconcile with him. The man responsible for the murder faced the family and friends of the victim in court, where they remembered her as a loving and caring person. The incident occurred in Melbourne, Australia, and the man responsible has pleaded guilty to the murder.
Elaine Pandilovski, a 44-year-old mother, was strangled to death at her home in Mill Park, Melbourne, on July 14, 2020, by her long-term partner, Zoran Pandilovski, 48. The couple had been childhood sweethearts and married in 2002. However, about 20 months before the murder, Pandilovski had been kicked out of the family home due to domestic violence.
They remained in contact, mostly about their young son, and in early 2020 Pandilovski spoke to his wife about his hopes to reconcile. Mrs. Pandilovski said she did not feel the same way.
On the morning of her murder, Pandilovski arrived at the family home to pick up their son’s iPad for repairs. He left about two hours later and was injured in a high-speed car crash along Melbourne’s Western Ring Rd.
The alarm was raised when Mrs. Pandilovski failed to arrive at the school where she worked as a teacher’s aid. Her mother attended the family home after receiving a phone call from a concerned colleague but was unable to find her daughter. Her remains were discovered hidden in a storage room off the basement after 9 pm the same night when police were called.
Zoran Pandilovski was taken into custody the following day after he was released from the hospital. Photos of his wife’s body were discovered on his phone.
The court heard that Zoran Pandilovski had not planned to murder his wife, but he “lost control” as the couple argued. His barrister argued that the reason why his client took photos of Mrs. Pandilovski’s body was “inexplicable” and should not be seen as a “trophy photo.”
Zoran conceded that the history of domestic violence, which had gotten worse prior to him being kicked out of the family home, resulted in him not being able to say this was “out of the blue.” Pandilovski had done counseling, including anger management sessions, after the breakdown of their marriage.
The devastating consequences felt by Mrs. Pandilovski’s loved ones were “solely attributable” to Zoran, according to his barrister.
Justice Christopher Beale will hand down a sentence on August 11. Family and friends of the victim have expressed their grief and sadness at the loss of a “beautiful” person who never had a bad word to say.