Heartbreaking update after Hannah McGuire allegedly killed by ex

The 23-year-old school teacher is the third allegedly murdered at the hands of a man in just three months in the Victorian town of Ballarat.

As hundreds in the Ballarat community prepare to protest violence against women following the alleged murder of Hannah McGuire, the 23-year-old's loved ones have made the heartbreaking decision to reopen their family pub.

McGuire's body was found two weeks ago in a burnt-out car in a state forest in Scarsdale, with police charging her former partner Lachlan Young with her murder. Her alleged killing is the third in as many months to rock the town, following the deaths of Samantha Murphy and Rebecca Young earlier this year.

Surrounded by support from loved ones, McGuire's family yesterday reopened their pub in Clunes, the National Hotel — where she once worked — attracting an outpouring of grief-stricken members of the community. People came to pay tribute to McGuire, many laying flowers and sharing memories, others simply attending in solidarity.

Hannah McGuire's family is seen here outside court on Wednesday beside in an inset of the 23-year-old.
Hannah McGuire's family outside court on Wednesday. Source: AAP
McGuire once worked at her parents pub the National Hotel, seen here.
McGuire once worked at her parents pub the National Hotel. Source: NCA NewsWire

Gut-wrenching scenes as family make heartbreaking decision to reopen pub

Photographs from the scene reveal heartbreaking messages from friends offering their support to her family as they grieve her shocking death.

“Know that we are here for you to reach out during this difficult time on the devastating loss of Hannah,” one card left at the pub reads.

“Thinking of you in this sad time,” another said.

Locals speaking to media upon the pub's reopening labelled McGuire's death "the saddest thing", many reeling they still "can’t believe it".

Cards and flowers seen here outside of Hannah McGuire's parents' pub, which reopened yesterday for the first time following her alleged murder.
Some left cards with messages of support to her family. Source: NCA NewsWire

'Women don't feeling safe' in our town, survivor warns

In 2023, another Ballarat woman Sissy Austin was brutally bashed by a man with a weapon while running in bushland in Lal Lal in the city's south-east. "In shock" and fed-up, Austin has now organised a "snap rally" to be held on Friday evening, featuring a mass walk from the town's train station, before a main gathering and speeches.

"Women are not feeling safe in our town," Austin wrote on social media.

"Women are living on eggshells, living on edge. Putting on the runners and going for a run feels like risk-taking behaviour. It is not and we shouldn't be feeling like this.

Cards and flowers seen here outside of Hannah McGuire's parents' pub, which reopened yesterday for the first time following her alleged murder.
Floral tributes outside the National Hotel in Clunes after Hannah McGuire’s ex boyfriend was charged with her murder. Source: NCA NewsWire

"Myself and many women in Ballarat are in shock. Through having conversations with other women in the town we felt this is what's needed at this moment in time — to come together and demand our safety in this town."

McGuire's own family threw their support behind the rally yesterday. "We’re here to show the nation that we’re standing together in solidarity," the family said on Wednesday. "And we’re saying no to violence against women."

Premier throws support behind Ballarat

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allen said "we stand ready" to offer any "additional support" to the Ballarat community that she can.

Hannah McGuire is seen here before she was allegedly murdered by her ex.
A regional town has offered their support to the grieving the family of Hannah McGuire. Source: Facebook

"This does need a societal change," Allen said. "This should be a wakeup call for all of us. Preventing violence against women is a responsibility that sits with each and every one of us. If there’s additional support we can give to the Ballarat community particularly, we stand ready to do that."

Police alleged in court on Tuesday Young killed McGuire before driving to State Forest Rd in Scarsdale, southwest of Ballarat, and setting the car on fire.

It will be further alleged that she died inside Mr Young’s home in Sebastopol, on Ballarat’s southern fringe. In court on Tuesday, Young’s lawyer told the court the 21-year-old was in a state of declining mental health.

with NCA Newswire

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.