Mia Ayliffe-Chung, from Belper in Derbyshire, was killed in a horrifying incident at a hostel near Townsville, Queensland.
Ayliffe-Chung was stabbed on Tuesday night in an accommodation complex in the Home Hill area of Queensland where she had been staying. She was working on a farm near her hostel.
Mia Ayliffe-Chung: Police minister described incident as ‘tragic and disturbing’
Ayliffe-Chung had arrived in Australia in 2015 after her travels to countries including Turkey, India and Morocco. As reported by the Brisbane Times, she started working as a waitress at Bedroom Lounge Bar on the Gold Coast.
The suspect in the attack has been identified as Smail Ayad. The incident, described by Police Minister Bill Byrne as “tragic and disturbing,” also involved two men who tried to help the victim; however, they were injured, including a British man who sustained serious injuries.
In the days leading to the killing, Ayad allegedly expressed his intentions of marrying Ayliffe-Chung. Ayad had been in Australia since March on a temporary visa. On the day of the incident, he woke Ayliffe-Chung from her sleep, took her to the balcony, and stabbed her repeatedly, the Guardian reports.
Among the wounded also included the caretaker of the hostel, Grant Schultz, who suffered an injury to his leg.
Mia Ayliffe-Chung: She was a ‘fun, energetic and bubbly person’
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Scott Ackland and Sam Gostelow, who were traveling with Ayliffe-Chung, described the victim as a “fun, energetic and bubbly person.”
“She was great to work with, loved by everyone and will be dearly missed by the surfers paradise hospitality community,” the two men said, as reported by Mirror. “This has sent shockwaves through the hospitality family.”
Sam Gostelow, who had planned to travel with Ayliffe-Chung to north Queensland to work with her, said, “Words can not describe the anguish I am feeling knowing you are no longer with us. May your spirit live on in all of us forever more.”
Deputy police commissioner Steve Gollschewski said, with the investigation in its early stages, that all intents and motivations were being considered. Impacts of drugs and mental health problems were factors also being taken into consideration.