Australia'I went out, I didn't want to be alone': Half a world away, a brother mourns
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The brother of the woman found dead in the garden bed of a popular Brisbane park has described his shock and sorrow at receiving the heartbreaking news his sister had died a half a world away from most of her family.
Council workers found the body of 26-year-old Ioli Hadjilyra, bloodied, bruised and with parts of clothes removed, at Clayfield's Kalinga Park about noon on Wednesday.
Ms Hadjilyra's family had moved between Cyprus and Australia for much of her life, with all her brothers and sisters now living overseas.
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Alexander-Michael Hadjilyra, one of Ioli’s three siblings who share a house in Cyprus, told Brisbane Times he had last seen his sister in 2016, when she moved back to Brisbane permanently with their father Michael.
Their mother passed away from cancer in 2014.
“[My father] phoned me yesterday and said police had come to him about midnight your time. Obviously he was upset,” he said.
“My father told me not to say anything to [my other siblings], he said, 'don’t tell anyone'. I was the first he called because I am the oldest but by now I am sure they know.
“I went out, I didn’t want to be alone."
Mr Hadjilyra spoke with Brisbane Times over the phone from Cyprus, just minutes after police confirmed to the media that the death was being treated as suspicious.
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"Oh, they held a [press] conference?" he asked.
Mr Hadjilyra said police had been dealing directly with his father in Brisbane.
"What does it mean, a suspicious death? Does that mean it is probably a homicide?"
Mr Hadjilyra said he had not had regular contact with his sister in recent years as she had spiralled into an unhealthy lifestyle and become distant.
“If I had the chance to tell her, I would tell her what I always tell her, and that is to take care of your life," he said.
“She was a kind soul, it is just that she strayed away."
The last time they spoke was about a week ago, when Ms Hadjilyra told her brother she wanted to move back to Cyprus.
He said he did not want to focus too much on the “negative points” that had plagued Ms Hadjilyra's life, and instead wanted to savour the good memories.
“When you did something to her, something bad, she would forgive you very easily," he said.
“She used to love accessories, make-up … all of those women’s things.
“She was very kind. She was a free spirit ... I don't know what else to say, really."
After hearing his sister's body had been found next to a couple of her art sketches, he said she had been "artistically inclined" from a young age.
"She had so much talent, she squandered it."
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