Homicide detectives are investigating after the body of Emma Bates, 49, was found at a home in northern Victoria.

9News understands Bates’ partner, John Torney, has been arrested and is being questioned.

Torney, 39, was found not guilty of the murder of a Mildura toddler nearly a decade ago.

Cobram
The 49-year-old woman was found dead at this property in Victoria’s north. (Nine)
John Torney has been arrested. (Nine)

Emergency services were called to an address on Campbell Road in Cobram in the state’s north about 2.15pm yesterday, where they found Bates with fatal injuries to her upper body.

It is understood that Bates lived at the property near the NSW border for about a decade.

Torney was arrested shortly after Bates’ body was found and remains in custody but has not been charged in relation to her death.

9News understands that Torney and Bates had recently started dating and that Torney lived in the house next door.

Bates’ neighbour told 9News that she was often seen riding a mobility scooter in the nearby streets.

In 2015, Torney was found not guilty of the murder of Mildura toddler Nikki Coslovich, who was found dead in the roof cavity of her family home.

Bates’ former neighbours remembered the woman as “a beautiful soul”.

“She always helped my elderly parents and had a huge heart, was warm and loving,” one neighbour said.

“I’m in total shock that something like this could happen to such a beautiful soul.”

Another of Bates’ neighbours, Kayla, said “she seemed like a friendly lady”.

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan said “this has to stop”.

“We know as a government we need to do more, governments around the country need to do more,” Allan said.

She said the attorney-general, minister for women and minister for prevention of family violence had been asked to report to cabinet for action on domestic violence.

It comes as NSW Premier Chris Minns announced today that the NSW government will seek urgent advice on reform for bail laws in relation to cases of domestic violence.
Anybody with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online.
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