SYDNEY - A mother has been stabbed to death in a Sydney park in a brutal attack while speaking by phone to her distraught husband in India, reports said Monday.
IT professional Prabha Arun Kumar, 41, was knifed as she took a shortcut home through Parramatta Park in the city's west at around 9.30pm on Saturday night.
"He stabbed me, darling," she told husband Arun Kumar, Sydney's The Daily Telegraph reported, as the conversation abruptly ended.
The woman was found by a by-passer shortly afterwards and rushed to hospital but she had lost too much blood and doctors were unable to save her. She had been just 300 metres from home.
"It is a horrific attack without any stretch of the imagination," police Superintendent Wayne Cox said.
Kumar's husband flew to Australia from India, where both he and their nine-year-old daughter live, after the attack but reportedly arrived to be told that his wife had died.
The dead woman's flatmate said Kumar had probably not wanted to bother anyone to ask for a lift home after finishing work late and arriving at Parramatta train station at 9pm.
Instead she decided to walk, and was attacked near a tree-lined walkway.
"Because she was working late regularly, she felt bad to ask for help," her flatmate, who asked to be identified as Sarada, told The Daily Telegraph.
"Maybe that is the reason she didn't call." Sarada said she had repeatedly warned her friend not to walk through the park after dark.
"I told her that it is not a safe way to come through because there are people that stop and ask you for money, like $2," she said.
"I don't know how I am going to face her husband. She is very close to her husband and her daughter.
"She talks to them every day, as soon as she finishes work she calls her husband and keeps talking. She has a good family." Police have established a task force to investigate the murder but no arrests have so far been made.
A spate of violent crimes against Indian students in Australia in 2010, including the stabbing murder of 21-year-old Punjab man Nitin Garg as he walked to work at a fast-food restaurant in Melbourne, heightened tensions between Australia and India.
But since then the number of tourists visiting from India has picked up, and India's charismatic leader Narendra Modi has described warmer relations between the nations as "natural" during a 2014 visit.