A FORMER high school cheerleader may have been murdered by an "infatuated" work colleague she barely knew, police believe.
Chilling crime scene pictures show blood dripping down a metal fence outside the suburban home where Celeste Manno, 23, was found dead early today in Melbourne, Australia.
CCTV shows a dark Peugeot leaving the street soon after Celeste was attacked around 4.10am.
Minutes later, the same car reportedly crashed in the car park at Mernda police station – where a 35-year-old suspect was arrested in connection with her death.
Detectives are investigating if the man is a former work colleague who developed an infatuation for her, 9News reports.
The victim's godmother, named Pina, said Celeste did not know the suspect well and they were not in a relationship.
She told the Herald Sun: "She didn't even know him. They had met but they didn't know each other.
"No one deserves this but least of all her… She was beautiful. She never did a single thing wrong."
Another relative said they believed the man was stalking the house.
Celeste's mother was inside the home they shared at the time of the murder, Pina said.
She later was stopped by officers trying to run through police tape as the body was removed, and was heard screaming: "How did I not protect her?" as she was comforted by loved ones on the lawn.
Pina said the distraught mother would "never recover" and "blames herself".
She said: "She was home but there was nothing she could do."
Friends and family gathered outside the blood-spattered home to mourn music lover and cheerleading fan Celeste, who was weeks from celebrating her 24th birthday.
She had a degree in criminology and sociology, and did volunteering in her free time alongside her job at a Serco call centre.
One heartbroken friend said online: "Celeste Manno was the most kind, brightest, down to earth person, who I was lucky to call a friend.
"She always knew how to light up a room with her bubbly, sweet nature.
"She was an absolute angel who didn't deserve a tragic ending like this. The world has truly lost a ray of sunshine today."
Another friend said: "Fly High Beautiful girl. The most loving, generous and kind hearted friend to everyone around her. This world can be cruel."
Serco boss Peter Welling said: "Celeste has been a warmly regarded and valued member of our team.
"Her sudden and tragic loss has deeply affected all of us at Serco and is particularly heartbreaking for our colleagues who had the privilege to work with her."
Homicide Squad detectives said they believe the victim and killer were known to each other.
Leading Senior Constable Natalie Dean said: "The exact circumstances surrounding the incident are yet to be determined and the investigation remains ongoing."
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