Michael Cardamone, a 48-year-old man, was charged with the murder of Victoria woman Karen Chetcuti. He was charged at an out-of-sessions court at Wangaratta police around 1 am on Tuesday after he was interrogated by homicide detectives in Melbourne on Monday.

The body of a woman was discovered near lake Buffalo in a scrubland in Victoria on Monday afternoon though it has not been identified yet at the time. The ABC reported that the body is believed to be of Chetcuti, who was reported missing from her home in Whorouly, near Wangaratta, since Jan, 12. Post-mortem is being conducted on the body. 

Following a long pursuit throughout the city, Cardamone was arrested from Ringwood, a Melbourne suburb. The 49-year-old appeared before Wangaratta magistrates court later on Tuesday, where he was charged with another count of breaching parole.  

Investigators found that Cardamon, who shared a boundary with Chetcuti’s house, incapacitated and killed her when she visited his house to get a punnet of tomatoes. The Guardian reported that the mother-of-two left her house around 7:30 pm last Tuesday.

Police found her bag and purse at the house. Her burnt out car, which was allegedly set on fire by Cardamone two days later, was later discovered in a bush near Myrtleford which prompted the search around the area.

According to the Guardian, the two teenaged children of Chetcuti are presently staying with their father. Chetcuti worked for Wangaratta Council in the past 20 years. Brendan McCrath, the chief executive of the council, said that Chetcuti was a close friend and a valued colleague.

“We’re all very shocked and saddened, and we feel for her children and her former husband who was an employee of ours formerly, and the broader Whorouly community, who she’s been very closely involved with,” the ABC quoted him as saying. He added the staff has been offered counselling.