MARCH 06, 2015
– An online love match gone wrong is the main theory to explain a gruesome apparent murder-suicide of a young western suburbs couple.
A jogger found the bodies of Dianne Chi, 22, and Paul Pham, 20, in a car at the Otway Ranges last Saturday.
It is believed that Ms Chi was stabbed multiple times and her body driven to the secluded forest area in the car’s boot, after which Mr Pham took his own life.
Members of the pair’s families, who reported them missing about three days before they were found, said they had been dating for up to four months after meeting online.
Both of their computers have now been seized in the hope a forensic analysis of online interactions can unravel what led up to the deaths.
It’s not known what dating site they may have used. Other lines of inquiry remain open.
The Herald Sun understands that neither Ms Chi nor Mr Pham — both of whom were from Melbourne’s western suburbs — were previously known to police, and there was no history of violence between the pair.
It is unclear where Ms Chi, a university student, was killed.
Her body showed signs of an assault, and she had been stabbed twice.
Locals said they had not seen Mr Pham’s purple Honda Civic sedan around Colac before last Saturday’s discovery.
The car was found on a dirt service track parallel to Birregurra-Forrest Rd, about 5km north of the town of Forrest.
Detective Leading Senior Constable Stuart Sims said the crime was highly unusual.
“It’s a bizarre set of circumstances, if that (an online love match) is what it pans out to be,’’ Sen-Det Sims said.
Ms Chi’s death would bring to four the number of Victorian women killed at the hands of their partners, or ex-partners, this year.
There have been at least 14 such deaths nationwide.
The Colac Crime Investigation Unit is preparing a report for the State Coroner.
A royal commission has begun into domestic violence, which Premier Daniel Andrews has called Victoria’s biggest law-and-order challenge.
Anyone with personal problems can phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.
– Wes Hosking