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Woman seen with bruises before death
SNPA Woman seen with bruises before death

Police are reassuring Wellingtonians that it's safe to use jogging and walking tracks on Mt Victoria, after the body of a 39-year-old woman was found in the area on Monday.

The death of Sofia Helen Athanassiou, who is a mother of two, remains a mystery and police say it could be up to six weeks until they know how she died.

A post-mortem examination did not provide conclusive evidence on how she died and more tests will be carried out.

Ms Athanassiou's body was found in bushy scrub near a popular running and walking track, but police are reassuring people it's safe to use the tracks in the area.

"We appreciate that some people in the community may be unsure about returning to the area, which is understandable in the circumstances," Detective Senior Sergeant Donna Howard said.

"However, based on the good progress we have made on our investigation to date, including conclusion of the scene examination and interviews with witnesses, we are confident there is no reason why people cannot resume using the Mt Victoria town belt [and] Alexandra Park area," she said.

Meanwhile, police say they've investigated reports that Ms Athanassiou had a history of family violence, but that this was not a focus of their investigation.

"While the post-mortem showed Sofia had some minor injuries, we don't believe these are connected to her death, which remains unexplained," Det Snr Sgt Howard said.

"We've also spoken with a large number of people, including those close to Sofia, but at this stage are not focusing on any links to family violence."

A Wellington woman told Fairfax that she had watched Ms Athanassiou walking closely behind a man, thought to be her partner, for the past 10 years.

She often had her hair pushed forward to hide "severe black eyes, a caved-in face and facial wounds", the woman said.

"She looked so completely desperate and alone."

Newtown busker Sam Neho said Ms Athanassiou and her partner were inseparable, but she never appeared happy.

"I don't think I ever saw her smile ... I saw a couple of times she had a black eye."