News People Australian woman dead in suspected murder in Fiji

Australian woman dead in suspected murder in Fiji

jennifer downes fiji murder
Police at Ms Downes' Suva home. Photo: Twitter/FBC News Fiji
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An Australian woman has been found dead in Fiji and her husband is reportedly in hospital in a case police are treating as a suspected murder.

Fijian media reports the woman is mother-of-three Jennifer Downes, who had worked for the United Nations in Suva since 2017.

The ABC said the UN had confirmed Ms Downes death. Known professionally as Jenna Lusaka, she was as a logistics officer in the Fijian capital for the World Food Program in the Pacific.

Her husband is Henry Lusaka John. According to the ABC, the couple had recently separated.

FBC News Fiji said Mr John, who was reportedly injured after jumping from a balcony at the couple’s house, would be questioned by police on Thursday.

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro told the Fiji Sun newspaper that the incident was being treated as a suspected murder.

Police also told the newspaper that Mr John’s workmates went to the couple’s house in Suva’s Domain district about 1pm on Tuesday. They found Ms Downes dead and Mr John with serious injuries.

Mr John, who is originally from Congo but is an Australian citizen, was taken to Suva’s Colonial War Memorial Hospital.

Ms Naisoro could confirm only that the couple were foreign nationals who worked for different aid organisations in Fiji. The whereabouts of their three children – all aged under five – is not known.

An Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman said consular assistance was being provided to the family of the Australian woman.

“Owing to our privacy obligations we will not provide further comment,” he said.

-with AAP