Man charged with manslaughter of Gold Coast woman Ivona Jovanovic

LATEST @ 3.30 PM | A MAN has been charged with the manslaughter of a young Gold Coast woman, who was allegedly shot in the stomach and left for dead at a home in Highland Park more than a year ago.

Ivona Jovanovic was found with critical injuries at a house on Renfrew Drive around 8.30pm on Sunday September 8, 2019.

The 27-year-old was rushed to the Gold Coast University Hospital, but died a short time later.


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The Labrador woman is believed to have been at the home with a small group of people, who all allegedly fled the scene before emergency crews arrived.

Following a 16-month investigation, detectives today arrested Ms Jovanovic’s former boyfriend, Christos Panagakos, in the Brisbane area.

The 28-year-old alleged bikie associate was taken to the Brisbane Watchhouse, where he was charged with one count of manslaughter and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm.

He appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court this afternoon, where he was remanded in custody until February 22.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Acting Detective Inspector Chris Ahearn said police laid the charge of manslaughter instead of murder as they did not believe there was an “intent” to kill.

“What I can briefly allude to, is the fact that the investigation has revealed that we don’t believe there was an intent in the killing of Ivona, and so that’s the reason why that particular charge was preferred in this instance,” Detective Act Insp Ahearn said.

Police said they were “very happy” to have been able to provide the victim’s family with the comfort of knowing someone had been held accountable.

“It’s been a 16-month painstaking investigation that’s resulted in today’s arrest and whilst it won’t bring Ivona back, it certainly will provide the family with some comfort that we have achieved this arrest,” Detective Act Insp Ahearn said.

The gun believed to have been involved in the shooting remains at large, with detectives appealing for anyone with information about the location of the weapon to come forward.

“We know it’s a handgun but we have no further description of it,” Detective Act Insp Ahearn said.

“We know that there are people out there in the community who are aware of this matter who might have some information about the whereabouts of that weapon.”

If you have information for Police, please contact Policelink on 131 444 or provide information using their online form 24 hours per day.

You can also report information about crime anonymously to Crime Stoppers by calling 1800 333 000 or via crimestoppersqld.com.au 24 hours per day. Crime Stoppers is a registered charity and community volunteer organisation.

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