Boyfriend charged with murder after body of woman found in bathtub

The boyfriend of a woman who was found dead in her apartment in North Parramatta has been charged with her murder.

WARNING: This story includes details some readers may find distressing.

Police found the body of 19-year-old Arnima Hayat in a bathtub filled with acid.

They were called to the unit block on Pennant Hills Road on Sunday afternoon after a relative raised concerns about the woman’s welfare.

Police stand guard outside an apartment cordoned off with police tape.
Police were called to the unit block after a relative raised concerns.(ABC News: Rani Hayman)

Officers forced their way into the ground-floor apartment but had to retreat when they were overcome by fumes from chemicals inside the unit.

A specialist team wearing HAZMAT suits was called in and spent several hours examining evidence inside the apartment.

Superintendent Julie Boon from NSW Police described the scene as “very challenging” for officers.

Man drives truck
Meraj Zafar handed himself in to police after detectives released this image.(Supplied: NSW Police)

The woman’s partner Meraj Zafar, 20, handed himself in to police after detectives issued a public appeal for information and was charged last night with murder.

He did not appear in court when the matter was briefly heard at Bankstown Local Court today.

Bail was formally refused and he was remanded in custody until April 5.

Outside court, his lawyer Mohamad Sakar said Mr Zafar was “distraught” and was entitled to the presumption of innocence.

“He is distraught about being in custody,” he said.

“It’s just a matter of whether he intends to fight this matter or not.”

Mr Sakar confirmed that his client had a relationship with the victim but said he would be making no comments on the allegations until he saw the prosecution’s brief of evidence.

Two police officers remove rubbish bags from garbage bins.
Forensic teams have been at the scene looking for evidence.(ABC News: Rani Hayman)

He said the accused had “done the right thing” by handing himself in to police.

A tipper truck found at Greenacre has been seized by police and is being examined by a forensic team as investigations continue.

A post-mortem examination on the woman is expected to be completed today.

Police have appealed to anyone who heard or saw anything near the crime scene to come forward.


Leave a Comment