She had arrived in Australia from China more than 12 months ago, got herself a job and settled down in a quiet little flat in inner-city Newcastle, in the NSW Hunter region.
Her alleged killer arrived in the country on Sunday, was picked up by her and taken back to the Brown Street flat where police now claim a murder of extreme violence was committed only hours later.
Newcastle City detectives last night charged the Chinese national, 30, with the woman’s murder, after officers arrived at the unit early yesterday to find a horrific scene.
Blood had been spattered across two of the unit’s three rooms. The woman’s body was discovered with a weapon, believed to be a meat cleaver, lodged in her neck.
A bloodied fishing gaff was found nearby.
The woman, believed to be in her early 30s, had suffered more than 30 stab wounds.
‘‘At this stage we are still trying to get to the cause or the motive for what has occurred,’’ Newcastle City crime manager Detective Inspector Graham Parker told a media conference yesterday afternoon.
‘‘However, I can say with some confidence that it is a very violent crime scene.’’
Detective Inspector Parker said a neighbour had alerted police to an argument in the flat just after 3am yesterday.
Officers arrived a short time later, but found the woman dead inside the flat.
The suspect was found sitting outside and was taken into custody.
Police quickly cordoned off the scene as the man was taken to Newcastle police station, where a translator was called in to help with communication.
Crime scene experts remained at the unit for most of the day, and were joined by blood spatter and fingerprint experts to help gather evidence.
The Newcastle Herald understands the woman had arrived in Australia with her father more than 12 months ago with a work visa.
She was working in Newcastle and stayed after her father went back to China.
It is understood she returned home briefly a few months ago before returning.
Relatives in Sydney had been informed of her death yesterday afternoon and were attempting to tell other family in China.
The suspect is believed to have flown into Sydney at the weekend. He was picked up by the victim and driven back to Brown Street.
Neighbours said the woman was polite but kept to herself.
The suspect will face Newcastle Local Court today.