Court heard emotional testimony on Friday as an employee of the West Kelowna hotel where a woman was murdered took the stand to describe what she saw and heard as the final hours of the victim’s life played out.
Tejwant Danjou allegedly murdered his partner, Rama Gauravarapu, while on vacation in the Okanagan. They stayed at West Kelowna’s Best Western Hotel.
Faith Cote was a new employee and only 20 years old when she answered a phone call about a noise complaint. She said she headed upstairs to find out what was happening after calling the room twice but receiving no answer.
She told the court it sounded like someone was getting pushed around, but it would stop and then start again.
Cote said her supervisor had told her to report back to him before doing anything, so she did.
Court heart that she ended up helping out at the front desk for five or 10 minutes before heading upstairs again to follow up.
This time, it was quiet, she said.
When Cote got to the door of room 205, she told court that she knocked, identified herself as a guest service agent and asked the male voice inside to open up.
She said Danjou told her that he didn’t need any services.
Court heard that she asked for him to open the door again, telling him that she needed to speak to him about a noise complaint.
This time, she said, Danjou opened the door.
She told court he had a big red stain on his pants.
Cote testified she then saw a woman slumped in the bathroom, and that her face was so badly swollen, her eyes were almost closed.
She said a broken wine bottle lay at the woman’s feet.
The woman asked for help in a quiet, withering voice, Cote said.
The front desk agent told court her interaction with Danjou was short.
“There was no emotion in his face,” she said.
He didn’t appear to be trying to hide anything, she said.
Cote testified that Danjou told her that they didn’t need any help.
She told court that she said “OK” to him and backed away from the room.
The front desk agent headed downstairs to tell her boss to call 911.
Cote testified that she took police back upstairs when they arrived. She said even though they kept her back from the door, she could still hear gurgling inside.
At one point, she broke down sobbing as she described the events as they unfolded.
Const. Marcus Pearson was one of the first arriving officers at the scene.
He testified that when he arrived, Gauravarapu had a weak pulse and was unconscious but still alive.
She died shortly after.
Pearson said Danjou was not in the blood-splattered room.
Cote testified that after heading downstairs and calling 911, she had watched the cameras carefully to ensure he did not escape.
Court has previously heard that he would later be found in a dumpster.
The trial is scheduled to continue at least throughout all of next week.