Cobram death: Emma Bates remembered as ‘big-hearted’ aunty who loved to help others

The Nightly
Emma Bates was found dead at her home on Tuesday afternoon.
Emma Bates was found dead at her home on Tuesday afternoon. Credit: 7NEWS/7NEWS

The family of a woman found dead with severe injuries at her Cobram home on Wednesday have paid tribute to her, saying she had the “biggest heart of anyone we know”.

Emma Bates, who had lived with health issues for most of her life and used a mobility scooter, was found at her Campell Road on Tuesday afternoon with injuries to her body and head.

Police confirmed on Wednesday night they had charged her neighbour, 39-year-old John Torney with intentionally causing injury, recklessly causing injury, common law assault, aggravated assault of a female and unlawful assault in relation to Ms Bates’ death.

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Ms Bates and Mr Torney had reportedly recently started dating.

Ms Bates’ sister Rachel told The Herald Sun, the 49-year-old was “a much-loved member of our family, the fourth of seven children”.

“She was always helping someone, whether that was dropping in food for an elderly neighbour or giving lifts to people when needed … The list goes on, “ she said.

“Emma was also known for being a “crazy cat lady” who had many rescue kittens that she treated like “babies”, and her home decor was cat inspired.”

“While she was not blessed with children, Emma was a proud aunty to 17 nieces and nephews who were her pride and joy”.

Emma Bates was a proud aunty to 17 nieces and nephews.
Emma Bates was a proud aunty to 17 nieces and nephews. Credit: 7NEWS

One neighbour told the Herald Sun that Ms Bates’ death was heartbreaking.

“We’ve been here for 20 years and I’ve known her since then,” she said.

“She was a beautiful lady, she would do anything for you.”

Kylie Mizzi, whose parents lived next door to Ms Bates for many years, told Daily Mail Australia she was a “beautiful soul”.

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

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

John Torney has been charged in relation to Ms Bates’ death.
John Torney has been charged in relation to Ms Bates’ death. Credit: David Sickerdick/AAPIMAGE

Ms Bates’ death came just days after 28-year-old mother Molly Ticehurst was found dead in her central NSW home.

Mr Torney is due to appear before Shepparton Magistrates Court on Friday.

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