The boyfriend of Celeste Manno has shared a heartbreaking tribute, three days after she was allegedly murdered inside her home.
Ms Manno was found dead at her family’s house in Mernda, in the city’s north, about 4.10am on Monday.
On Wednesday, Chris Ridsdale shared a picture of him with Ms Manno, revealing his late girlfriend’s excitement to upload the first photo of them as a couple to her social media.
‘We took this picture on Saturday this week,’ Mr Ridsdale wrote.
‘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.
Chris Ridsdale shared a picture of him with Ms Manno on Wednesday, revealing his late girlfriend’s excitement to upload the first photo of them as a couple to her social media
Serco team leader Celeste Manno was found dead at her home in Mernda, in Melbourne’s north, about 4.10am on Monday
‘I was told, very clearly, that this was to be my new profile picture.’
Mr Ridsdale said he rarely uses his social media accounts, but uploaded it on Wednesday as a special tribute Ms Manno.
‘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,’ he said.
Mr Ridsdale’s homage to his girlfriend comes amid revelations Ms Manno had to change her phone number ‘almost weekly’ to avoid harassment from her former colleague, who turned himself into police shortly after her death.
The recent university graduate was a team leader for one of about 20 Serco call centre teams, fielding calls for Centrelink.
Her family said she showed a customer support worker ‘some support’ by walking him out of the building when he was sacked due to misconduct.
But from that point on, the criminology graduate was subjected to ‘disgusting and vulgar’ abuse from the man, particularly on social media.
Ms Manno is seen above with her younger brother, Alessandro, 19. They were inseparable prior to her tragic death at home on Monday
Grieving family: Ms Manno’s brothers Jayden (left), Alesandro, uncle Gabriel and father Tony Manno, with her beloved baby niece Daisy, addressed the media this week
Ms Manno’s brother said she began to cop abuse in January with ‘vulgar and disgusting’ messages over Instagram
‘I know at one point she was having to apparently change her phone number almost weekly,’ a former colleague of Ms Manno’s told Daily Mail Australia.
‘It was procedure at the centre that if you lost your job, your manager would walk you out.
‘She walked him out following the procedure and this is apparently what started the infatuation because she was kind when escorting him out of the building.’
Ms Manno’s brother, Alessandro, said she began to cop abuse in January with ‘vulgar and disgusting’ messages over Instagram.
‘At first she would be nice to him and just say ‘look, thank you, but I’m not interested’.
‘Then he became obsessive so eventually she had to block him and he created about a million other accounts.’
Celeste Manno’s father Tony cradles baby Daisy – Ms Manno’s beloved niece – as the family spoke to media this week
Mr Ridsdale was comforted by Ms Manno’s grieving loved ones out the front of her family home in Melbourne’s north on Tuesday afternoon
Her father lashed out at the state’s justice system on Tuesday after she became the victim of yet another terrible crime.
‘(The system’s) gotta be changed, it won’t bring her back, but it’s gotta be changed,’ he said.
‘What’s it going to take for the government to listen. It could be yours (daughter). It’s not right.
‘It’s got to stop.’
Tony paid tribute to his daughter by describing her love for her little niece Daisy, who he cradled as he spoke to media.
‘Celeste adored her. She was absolutely in love with her niece,’ he said.
‘Celeste was coming over tomorrow night to visit after COVID. COVID kept us all separated too long and little Daisy was really looking forward to seeing her.’
The crime scene in Mernda where Ms Manno was killed this week
Ms Manno’s brother Jayden said everyone had the right to live their lives in the safety of their own home.
‘No-one should be scared – man, woman, child. No-one,’ he said. ‘This evil should not exist. Things need to change. This evil cannot be allowed to continue.’
A man, 35, was arrested on Monday after handing himself in at a police station.
He is yet to be charged and is under police guard in hospital awaiting surgery after suffering a hand injury.
If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. If you or someone you know is affected by domestic violence, contact 1800RESPECT.