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The grieving boyfriend of Celeste Manno has paid tribute to his "beautiful" partner, days after she was allegedly killed by an ex-colleague who is believed to have been stalking her.
On Wednesday, Chris Ridsdale shared a photo of the beaming couple which was taken two days before Ms Manno, 23, was allegedly killed by ex-colleague Luay Nader Sako.
Celeste Manno with her boyfriend Chris Ridsdale.Credit:Facebook
In the early hours of Monday, Ms Manno was with her mother Aggie at the family home in Mernda, in Melbourne's north-east, when the alleged killer broke in, smashing her bedroom window and allegedly stabbing her before fleeing by climbing a side fence.
Ms Manno's family say Mr Sako became "obsessed" with her after she was kind to him on the day he was fired more than a year ago, and had allegedly been stalking her in the lead-up to her death.
The family say Ms Manno went to police with her concerns.
Sexual Assault Services Victoria spokeswoman Karen Hogan said stalking was far more prevalent than reported in official crime statistics, because it was often hard to prove.
Luay Nader Sako who once worked with Celeste Manno.
"I think it's difficult for law enforcement to intervene but it's very real, it's insidious, and it can be absolutely terrifying," Ms Hogan said.
She said most stalkers knew their victims and preyed on their vulnerability.
Julie Kun, chief executive of Women's Information and Referral Exchange, said victims of stalking were sometimes deferential when being pursued because they wanted to avoid confrontation.
"They often wonder if it's really happening, if it's just a coincidence, or maybe that they won't be believed."
Celeste Manno, whose body was found in her home in Mernda on Monday morning.Credit:Facebook
According to WIRE, stalking is a crime that affects 1 in 10 Australian adults. Three quarters of the vitims are women.
Ms Kun said more needed to be done to take stalking seriously.
"Even when the consequences aren't fatal, women can become prisoners in their own homes and it can be incredibly debilitating," Ms Kun said.
On Wednesday, Ms Manno's boyfriend shared a touching picture taken on Saturday of the couple sitting side by side with the words: "We talked and joked about how this would be the first picture of us together on her social media and she was so excited to share it with everyone".
"I was told, very clearly, that this was to be my new profile picture. For those who know me and know how little I use Facebook or Instagram, you know this was something I didn't really care much to do.
"Now it seems like the best thing I can do for her. To show everyone how much she meant to me and how beautiful she was."
Mr Sako, 35, of Roxburgh Park, was arrested early on Monday after he drove himself to Mernda police station.
Celeste Manno’s family, including brothers Jayden and Alessandro, uncle Gabriel, father Tony and niece Daisy.Credit:Nine News
He remained in hospital under police guard on Wednesday awaiting hand surgery and had not been charged.
Mr Sako lives with his parents in Roxburgh Park, in the city's north.
His family told Nine News they hadn't stopped crying or thinking about Ms Manno since her death. They said they had no idea their son was allegedly stalking her.
"I wish I was killed instead. Not a young woman on the cusp of her life," Mr Sako's mother said.
The family described him as a loner who spent most of his time in his bedroom. They said he was unemployed and they had not spoken to him since his arrest.
Company records show he started an online IT hardware business called DestXIT last month. The address listed to the business is his parent's home.
Ms Manno was a team leader at her job at a Mill Park call centre run by global services company Serco. Mr Sako was one of her team members but left the company about a year ago.
Celeste with her younger brother Alessandro.
Her brother Alessandro, 19, said on the day Mr Sako was fired, his sister walked with him as he left the building to support him and "ever since that day he has just been obsessed with her".
On Wednesday, he shared an emotional tribute to his older sister.
"You were my everything," he said. "You and I were always inseparable and had a bond like no one could ever imagine.
"It was only two days ago when we were both making homemade pizzas together and having a great time by the pool and talking about seeing our niece tomorrow.
"I can’t believe you're gone and I’m never gonna see you again. You were so perfect in every way and I just can’t believe this is real."
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report via crimestoppersvic.com.au.
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