Karen Chetcuti murder accused appears in court

Michael Cardamone is taken into Wangaratta Court. Picture: MARK JESSER
Michael Cardamone is taken into Wangaratta Court. Picture: MARK JESSER

THE man charged accused of murdering Whorouly woman Karen Chetcuti will remain in custody until his next court appearance in September.

Homicide Squad detectives charged Michael Cardamone, 48, with Ms Chetcuti's murder after her body was found near Myrtleford on Monday.

The mother of two was reported missing after she failed to turn up to work at Wangaratta Council on Wednesday morning, and had not been seen since leaving the Whorouly Hotel on Tuesday night.

Cardamone, who was on parole at the time of the alleged offence, faced an out of sessions' court hearing in the early hours of Tuesday morning before appearing again hours later in Wangaratta court.

He did not apply for bail. 

Ms Chetcuti's body was found off Croppers Creek Road near Myrtleford about 1.35pm on Monday.

Hundreds of messages of condolence flowed soon after for the popular 49-year-old, from both friends and strangers touched by the tragic loss of her life.

Rural City of Wangaratta chief executive officer Brendan McGrath said staff and administrators are shocked and saddened by the news. 

“We were always hopeful that Karen would be found alive but this news has confirmed the worst,” Mr McGrath said. 

 “Karen worked here at the Rural City of Wangaratta for the past 20 years.

"She had connections with all our staff in her records management role. She managed a small team, everyone knew her. 

"She was a highly valued member of staff and had many close friends at Council. 

 “She was a great employee, reliable, thoughtful and when she didn’t turn up for work last Wednesday we knew something was wrong.

“Our staff are struggling with the news and finding it very difficult to accept.” 

Mr McGrath said the council would provide counselling services for staff in the wake of Karen’s tragic death and would look at other activities to commemorate her commitment and 20 years of service with council. 

Mr McGrath said the thoughts of council staff went out to Karen’s family, in particular her two children. 

“She was an integral part of Whorouly and was deeply involved in a number of community groups,” Mr McGrath said. 

“Karen will be a great loss to us and the Whorouly community.”