Australia

Lordy Ramadan was killed in a suspected murder-suicide. Now her family are trying to bring her home

This article contains references to suicide. 

Loved ones are paying tribute to ‘Lordy’ Ramadan, a 48-year-old woman who was found dead in her apartment on the Gold Coast in a suspected murder-suicide. 

News of Ms Ramadan’s death follows the alleged murder of Gold Coast mother Kelly Wilkinson, and comes amid reports Queensland Police employs less than 90 specialist officers in domestic and family violence to deal with over 100,000 cases a year. 

Police found Ms Ramadan’s body in a furniture chest inside the apartment in Labrador after being called for a welfare check about 10:20am last Friday. 

A 53-year-old man, understood to be Ms Ramadan’s partner and carer, was found dead, with a wider search locating a second body, believed to be that of Ms Ramadan, shortly after. 

While the deceased have not been formally identified, family members have confirmed Ms Ramadan’s identity to several news outlets. 

Ms Ramadan’s younger sister Marina told The Brisbane Times the siblings shared an “unbreakable bond”. 

“A life taken away too soon. Lordy was beautiful, kind and a generous loving soul, always putting others’ needs before hers,” she said. 

“Nothing breaks our hearts more than having a world that no longer has her in it.”

Ms Ramadan’s brother Alex told the ABC she would “do anything” for family and was devoted to her nieces and nephews. 

“[It’s a] big loss in our lives and life won’t be the same again – no chance,” he said. 

Police believe the pair were in a relationship for about 10 years. 

Gold Coast District Detective Inspector Chris Ahearn said the man may have been responsible for the woman’s suspicious death. 

“There are some early indications of the male person being responsible for the death of the female person,” he told reporters on Saturday. 

“It is a tragic event … we are pouring significant resources into an expansive investigation of it because we are intent on getting answers for the family as to why and how these two people have died.”

Detective Inspector Ahearn said there is a suggestion the man was also Ms Ramadan’s carer, and that police were investigating the woman’s medical condition prior to her death. 

Alex Ramadan confirmed to the ABC the man was his sister’s carer for her chronic illness. 

He has set up an online fundraiser to help their parents bring her body home to Victoria. 

“Trying to raise some money to help my elderly parents cover the costs of bringing her body home to Victoria and giving her the farewell she deserves,” the fundraiser states. 

“To know Lordy was to love her. Rest in love and peace, Lordy,” one woman who shared the fundraiser wrote on Facebook. 

Ms Ramadan is the 11th woman killed by violence in Australia this year, according to the Counting Dead Woman project by advocacy group Destroy the Joint. 

Her death follows that of Kelly Wilkinson, a mother-of-three who was allegedly set alight and killed in her backyard last Tuesday. Her estranged husband Brian Earl Johnston, 34, has been charged with her murder. 

The subsequent deaths of a man and his young daughter in South Australia last Wednesday are being treated as a murder-suicide, police have said. 

Jacqui Watt, CEO of No To Violence – a group that works towards ending men’s family violence – described the last couple of weeks as “dreadful”. 

“We’ve seen some horrific examples [of violence] in the recent past in Australia,” she told SBS News.

“I think it’s time we got family and domestic violence seen as a national emergency and something that is just not going to be tolerated any more.” 

‘Less than 90 specialist police officers in Queensland’

Last week, Assistant Police Commissioner Brian Codd admitted Queensland Police had failed to protect Ms Wilkinson, and announced an internal review would be launched into its handling of her case.

Speaking to media on Thursday, he reportedly confirmed Ms Wilkinson twice contacted police in the lead up to her death, and said her alleged killing by Mr Johnston was “ultimately a failure”. 

Queensland Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd addresses the media during a press conference in Brisbane on 9 February, 2021.

AAP

“A woman has died. She’s been killed, we will allege, in horrific circumstances,” he said. 

“Somewhere along the line, she engaged with the system – with us – and we were unable to prevent this from occurring. But I’m not entirely sure we will ever come up with a system that’s going to 100 per cent eliminate … the potential reality for these things occurring.

“It doesn’t matter that 999 out of 1000 we might get it right; our job is to try to prevent the horrific circumstances that occurred on this occasion from occurring, and we weren’t able to do that.”

Mr Codd also revealed the force dealt with 107,000 domestic and family violence cases last year. 

Despite this number of cases, the force employs 86 domestic and family violence specialists, according to The Guardian.

That reportedly includes 20 officers attached to eight “high-risk teams” across the state, 60 people employed as specialist family violence coordinators or officers, and a further six officers who work from a central hub to provide specialist advice to those officers on the frontline. 

SBS News has contacted Queensland Police for comment.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.

Readers seeking support can contact Lifeline crisis support on 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 and Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 (for young people aged 5 to 25). More information is available at Beyond Blue.org.au and lifeline.org.au. Embrace Multicultural Mental Health supports people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

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