A devastated father has revealed his eight-year-old daughter has been left ‘destroyed’ by her mother’s tragic death.
Police allege Daiane Pelegrini, 33, was stabbed to death at her Oatlands home in Sydney’s north-west by David Tran, 25, on August 3.
He has variously been described as the nursing student’s ex-lover and friend.
Ms Pelegrini’s former partner Marcelo Ataide had to break the news to their daughter, Marcela Pelegrini de Ataide.
The trio fled to Australia from Porto Alegre in Brazil in 2016 in search of a better life.
‘Daiane wanted to have a new life for Marcela because where we used to live, in Porto Alegre, started getting really dangerous,’ Mr Ataide told The Daily Telegraph.
Now Marcela is having to come to terms with her mother’s death.
Mr Ataide had to pick up his daughter from school on August 3 and tell her Ms Pelegrini had been rushed to hospital with severe injuries.
‘Marcela said “Mum is going to be OK, she just went to the hospital and the doctors are going to take care of her. She’s a nurse, so she’s going to be all right”,’ he said.
But hours later the shattered father had to fight through sobs to tell the eight-year-old her mum died of her injuries.
‘The way that she looked and the way that she cried, I don’t know how to say it but it’s indescribable. She was destroyed,’ Mr Ataide said.
While the pair have struggled adjusting to life without Ms Pelegrini, Marcela is fully aware of what happened to her mother.
Mr Ataide also had the painful task of scrubbing the house where Marcela and Ms Pelegrini lived as it was stained with her blood.
Ms Pelegrini’s friend Vivian Robain recalled their harrowing final video calls where the young mother said a mystery man had lurked outside the home.
Each day she spoke on video chat with Ms Robain, her best friend back in her hometown Lajeado, in the Brazilian countryside.
Ms Robain told Daily Mail Australia those calls had recently taken on a worrying quality – including reports of a man outside her house for more than three hours, three days before she died.
Ms Pelegrini confided in Ms Robain that she was being ‘chased’ by a man, something that worried her best mate deeply.
‘This she told me and we talked for days on the subject until she went to police and said I could be calm,’ Ms Robain said.
‘She reported (to police) that she was being chased,’ said Ms Robain, who added she was ‘afraid because someone was bothering her’.
‘She said to me the day she (contacted) the police that (the man) was in front of the house for more than three hours.’
Court documents allege that student David Tran broke into Ms Pelegrini’s unit about 4.30pm on August 3 intending to cause her ‘fear of physical or mental harm’.
Within 20 minutes, Tran had allegedly stabbed her to death, court documents claimed.
Tran allegedly injured Steven Qoqos, who Ms Pelegrini was allegedly seeing, during a scuffle but he managed to escape and raise the alarm with neighbours.
Police will allege in court that Tran had sent Ms Pelegrini threatening messages prior to the incident.
Mr Qoqos has declined to comment but has since changed his Facebook picture to a cryptic Christian message: ‘Love is a sacrifice’.
Tran was arrested and charged with murder, using a carriage service to menace and harass, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and entering a dwelling with intent to cause a serious indictable offence – stalking or intimidating.
He did not apply for bail during a brief court appearance on Wednesday and it was formally refused. Tran will return to court in September.
The homicide rate in Brazil is more than 30 times that of Australia’s, according to a 2018 United Nations report.
In a moving message, Ms Pelegrini’s ex-husband said he urged people to call for help if they felt threatened by violence, and warned that it happens around the world.
‘If you know something that’s happening, don’t think it’s going to stop at that stage. It can be worse,’ Mr Ataide told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Call the police. Call friends. Call many, many times. Call the police ten times a day if it happens, ten times a week if it happens.
‘Thirty times a month if need be, but call the police every day that it happens.’
A GoFundMe has been set up to help Marcela and Mr Ataide adjust to life without Ms Pelegrini.
‘We have another family history that was devastated by one more case of femicide!’ the fundraiser says.
‘Please, help to support this single father with all cost that he will have with that tragedy.’