Friends and family of a young mum have paid tribute after she was allegedly murdered by her on-and-off boyfriend and father of her son.
Mary Benedito, known to her loved ones as “Mama”, was found unresponsive with life-threatening injuries at an apartment in Southport on the Gold Coast just before 5pm on Saturday, Queensland Police said.
The 25-year-old was rushed to the Gold Coast University Hospital but later died, police announced on Tuesday.
Officers allege a 34-year-old man fled the apartment with their 11-month old son before police arrived, prompting an Amber Alert.
Two women brought the unharmed baby to a police station on Sunday morning. The man was arrested hours later.
Footage of the capture released by Queensland Police shows officers searching a storage warehouse with a police dog before placing handcuffs on the 34-year-old.
He was initially charged with grievous bodily harm and strangulation but the charges have now been upgraded to murder.
'Taken way too soon'
Ms Benedito’s friend Kelepi Teu told the Courier Mail the 25-year-old was always happy. He said the mum and the father of her child were not together at the time of her death.
“She was really very selfless, whatever she was going through she would just sweep it under the rug and focus on keeping you happy,” he said.
“She was the goofiest person I have ever met in my life. She was so bubbly. She had an infectious personality and even if you were sad she would do whatever she could to bring you back up again, to make you laugh, to make you giggle.”
Ms Benedito’s younger sister Chloe said in a Give A Little fundraising website that the mum's “life was taken way too soon”.
“We will miss her so much, and now have a duty to raise her son who is surrounded by so much love,” she wrote.
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