In recent weeks Daiane Pelegrini’s former lover had allegedly been trying to get in touch with the 33-year-old Sydney mother, texting her and visiting her western Sydney home unannounced.
On Monday night, it is alleged that he climbed up the balcony of her Oatlands home and broke in, waited for her and then stabbed her in the chest when she walked in.
David Tran, 25, was at Granville Police Station on Tuesday night where he was expected to be charged with murdering Ms Pelegrini.
The 33-year-old mother-of-one was found with multiple stab wounds inside her Ingleby Street apartment at 4:50pm on Monday before being taken to Westmead Hospital where she died.
Her new boyfriend who was with her at the time of the alleged attack managed to flee the home and sought help and suffered only minor injuries.
Ms Pelegrini moved to Australia with her husband and daughter in 2016 from Brazil.
Her ex-husband Marcelo Antunes de Ataide, with whom she had recently split, said their daughter was distraught.
‘‘She was a really good mother, she was the best mum and would do anything for her daughter,” he told Nine News.
‘‘We are devastated, we have a good family in Brazil and my daughter doesn’t want to leave Australia and her friends.’’
Ms Pelegrini last year enrolled to study nursing part time at the University of Western Sydney. She worked at a Spanish aged care facility, the Residential Gardens, in Rooty Hill.
Mr Antunes de Ataide said his ex-wife had told him about a man who had repeatedly shown up at her home. ‘‘Please if a woman is in trouble, please call police, please ask for help,’’ he said.
Mr Tran was arrested at the scene and taken to hospital to undergo a mental health assessment before being released to police.
On Tuesday, the driveway of the complex where Ms Pelegrini lived was secured by police.
Neighbour Steven, who did not give his last name, said the situation was upsetting.
‘‘It’s very shocking to us, especially for the little girl,’’ he said. ‘‘It is horrible.”
Another neighbour, Kirra, said the incident was “shocking”. She said she’d heard nothing out of the ordinary on Monday afternoon but knew something had happened when she heard a helicopter flying overhead and saw police and ambulance officers running to a nearby house.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
For help contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800RESPECT 1800 737 732.
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Laura is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.
Lucy Cormack is a crime reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.