Kiwi mum Mary Benedito allegedly strangled by ex-partner on Gold Coast

Kiwi mum Mary Benedito allegedly strangled by ex-partner on Gold Coast

A Kiwi woman who was allegedly strangled by her ex-partner at a Gold Coast hotel has been described as an “amazing” mother.

Mary Benedito, 25, was found unresponsive at the Meriton Suites Southport on Saturday evening. She was taken to hospital where she died.

Her ex-partner Reo Te Whetu Marama Marsh, 34, was later arrested in Oxley and charged over the alleged attack.

He had also allegedly taken their 11-month-old son, prompting an amber alert to be issued by authorities.

The child was brought to Crestmead Police Station by two women, who know Marsh, about midnight that night.

Marsh, from Crestmead, previously faced court charged with grievous bodily harm and strangulation.

On Tuesday, it was revealed his charge had been upgraded to murder following Benedito’s death at Gold Coast University Hospital.

Friends and family have paid tribute to Benedito on social media, including high school friend Tiana Govan, who recalled having “a lot of fun memories” with her.

“You had an amazing heart and (you were) an amazing mum,” she wrote.

Yani Palmer wrote: “Watch over us sister, guide us sister, and know that we got your back for baby and we will make you proud.”

Brydee Swann posted: “Fly high Mama, you will forever be missed.”

Leanne Tawa wrote: “Heaven has gained another angel. Gone too soon. Going to miss you so much beautiful, until we meet again.”

Kiwi mum Mary Benedito allegedly strangled by ex-partner on Gold Coast

Mary Benedito was allegedly strangled. Photo / Supplied

A GoFundMe page has been established by Josiah Benedito-Taotafa to raise money for Benedito’s son.

“As Mama grew her wings she left behind her beautiful 11 month old son,” the post read.

“With the help of generous donations, the money will be used towards his medical costs, primary and high schooling, and eventually university.

“With this help we know (he) will become the man his mother always knew he would be.

“Whilst words will never express our grief, we can only extend our thanks to friends, family and the wider community.”

A Give A Little fundraiser has also been established.

A grey Mazda CX9 has been seized by police as part of ongoing investigations.

Marsh is expected to face Richlands Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – DO YOU NEED HELP?

If it’s an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

If you're in danger now:

• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you.

• Run outside and head for where there are other people.

• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you.

• Take the children with you.

• Don’t stop to get anything else.

• If you are being abused, remember it’s not your fault. Violence is never okay

Where to go for help or more information:

• Women’s Refuge: Free national crisis line operates 24/7 – 0800 refuge or 0800 733 843

• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day – 0508 744 633

• It’s Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450

• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and middle eastern women and their children. Crisis line 24/7 0800 742 584

• Ministry of Justice:

• National Network of Stopping Violence:

• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men’s violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent.

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– Additional reporting, NZ Herald

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