The son of an Italian woman whose body was found in a barrel has told a coronial inquest he does not believe his father is involved in her death.
Lucia Amenta, 70, disappeared from her Fawkner home on January 19th, 2008.
21 months later her remains were found in a barrel fished from the Merlynston Creek at Campbellfield in Melbourne’s north, three kilometres from her home.
Mrs Amenta’s son, Paul Amenta, told the Victorian Coroners Court his parents were an “average senior Italian couple” and his mother was a strong minded woman who was set in her ways.
He told the court while they would argue, his father, Paola Amenta, was never violent towards her and he had never seen him hit his mother.
“I believe that neither myself, brother and father had anything to do with it,” Paul Amenta testified.
The court heard Mr Amenta’s brother, John Amenta, was very close to his mother and he understood the couple had left everything to him in their will.
Paul Amenta said he had been told on the day she vanished his mother had been making lunch, but had disappeared when his father returned from the shops.
The family thought she had gone out with friends but she never returned.
Paul Amenta told the court his father kept one or two barrels like the one his mother’s remains were found in.
He said he used them for olives.
“I have seen them in every Italian peoples (sic) backyard, ” he said.
A former partner of John Amenta, who cannot be named, told the inquest Lucia Amenta was a feisty woman who would nag her husband.
In a statement to police, she said John Amenta was an “aggressive, controlling and threatening” man and she had initially thought his mother had been taken as a vendetta after he got into trouble in Queensland.
The inquest heard the woman found clothes she had been told Lucia Amenta was wearing in the laundry of the family home the day after she went missing.
The woman testified a few months later when John Amenta and his father were seen with a barrel on the back of a ute, her mother had commented: “I hope they haven’t got Lucy in there.”
However, the court heard the barrel was different to the one her remains were found in.
The inquest continues.