Celeste Manno's alleged killer identified as Luay Sako

Australian Associated Press
·2-min read

The alleged killer of young Melbourne woman Celeste Manno has been identified in court.

After spending three nights under police guard in hospital, Luay Sako, 35, was on Thursday charged with one count of murder over her death.

It is alleged the Roxburgh Park man killed Ms Manno, just days shy of her 24th birthday, in her Mernda bedroom during the early hours of Monday morning.

Sako was expected to appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court via video link, but technical issues from the West Melbourne police cells meant he did not appear during the brief late-night hearing.

Celeste Manno.
A man has been charged with murdering young Melbourne woman Celeste Manno. Source: Facebook

Solicitor Sam Norton represented Sako in his stead, as police requested more time to gather evidence.

Detective Michael Drew said police were not in possession of all relevant CCTV footage and were dealing with a significant volume of telecommunications records and crime scene exhibits.

Sako has been placed on remand until April 27 when he's due to appear via video link for a committal mention.

Mr Norton noted his client had never previously been in police custody.

Chris Ridsdale, Ms Manno's boyfriend, posted an emotional online tribute that featured a photo of the smiling couple from just days ago.

It was the first and final photo of the pair together to be uploaded on social media.

A general view of the scene where a woman’s body was discovered in Mernda, Melbourne.
The crime scene set up outside the Mernda home. Source: AAP

"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," Mr Ridsdale wrote on Wednesday when republishing the picture.

"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."

Ms Manno was a university graduate, with family describing her as universally loved and intelligent.

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