On November 28, 2010, Snezana Stojanovska was found dead in the garage of her Preston home.
She was 12 weeks pregnant at the time.
The 26-year-old’s lifeless body was discovered lying on an ironing board, which was propped up on phone books. The mum-to-be was found in her pyjamas and a dressing gown, and on her hands was a pair of gardening gloves. She was not wearing a bra.
Emergency services were called to the property just after 11am.
According to The Age, the young woman’s husband, Dragi Stojanovski, told investigators he had found his wife with a barbell across her neck. He said the ironing board was a makeshift bench press and that her death was the result of an unfortunate weightlifting accident.
The barbell was resting against a nearby chair with a five kilogram weight on each end, totalling 30 kilograms.
As the Herald Sun reports, Stojanovski repeatedly told the paramedics to “help” and “do something” as they attended to his wife.
But now, Victorian State Coroner Sara Hinchey on Thursday has ruled the woman was a victim of homicide and her death was staged to look like an accident. The bruising on her neck simply didn’t fit with a weightlifting mishap.
Over the duration of the inquest, Judge Hinchey heard from family members, a doctor and detectives. She has directed the matter be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Judge Hinchey agreed with a doctor’s analysis that the young mum-to-be had not dropped the weights on her neck, but had been strangled.
At the beginning of the inquest, forensic pathologist Dr Malcolm Dodd told the court he did not believe Snezana had died from a weightlifting accident. Dr Dodd said the cause of death was asphyxia and neck compression, most likely caused by strangulation.
“My view was the pattern of bruises… did not fit at all with the story provided that this may have been entrapment by a barbell.”