The brother of a Melbourne woman allegedly murdered in her family home has claimed an “obsessed” former work colleague had been sending the 23-year-old “disgusting messages” before her death.
Celeste Manno’s grieving family have claimed the young call centre worker had been failed by a system that should have protected her against her alleged killer.
Her brother Alessandro alleged she was being harassed by a man she worked with at the South Morang call centre before she was found dead inside the house she shared with her mum in Mernda about 4.10am yesterday.
The 19-year-old said she had provided the former colleague with support before he became inappropriate.
“Ever since that day he’s been obsessed with her and harassing her over social media for months and months with vulgar and disgusting messages,” Alessandro said today.
A 35-year-old man has been arrested in connection with Ms Manno’s death and is in police custody.
The “selfless” volunteer’s father Tony has demanded more protections for women like his daughter.
“The system let her down. They let my daughter down. It’s got to be changed,” Mr Manno said.
“Too many of these scenarios have happened. What’s is going to take for the government to listen?”
Her older brother Jayden said the family was not coping with the “harrowing loss” of Ms Manno who was preparing to celebrate her 24th birthday.
“Such a senseless unfathomable evil act that should never have happened to our family, to anyone’s family,” Jayden said.
“Evil. This can’t happen, should never happen.”
Alessandro said his sister was his best friend and they had been joined at the hip since they were children.
“No one else in this world knows me like she did … I’ve never had a bond like that and I never will again,” he said.
“I’ve never been more than two days without her … I feel like she’s going to come home from work any minute.”
Ms Manno was killed while at home with her mother. Jayden decried the attack which happened in the place his sister should have felt safest.
“Everyone should have the right to live their lives in their homes, in their bedrooms on the streets no one should be scared,” he said.
“Man woman or child, this evil should not exist.
“Things need to change. This evil cannot be allowed to continue.”
CCTV shows a dark coloured Peugeot leaving the street after Ms Manno is believed to have been killed.
The same car crashed into the Mernda Police Station car park a short time later.
Blood stains were visible on a fence beside the home where friends and family gathered yesterday to mourn the music lover and cheerleading fan who was only weeks away from celebrating her birthday.
Flower tributes have flowed all day for the young woman, including by one woman who said the 23-year-old should have felt safe in her home.
“She should have been safest in her room … this is her safe space,” local woman Monika Pavic said.
The crime scene remains in place at the Mernda home and police station.