A mobile phone has been discovered near the home of a murdered call centre worker that could could prove crucial to prosecuting her alleged killer.
Celeste Manno, 23, was allegedly stabbed to death by an intruder at her family’s house in Mernda in Melbourne’s north at 4.10am on Monday.
Her work colleague Luay Sako, 35, handed himself in to police on Monday morning and was on Thursday charged with murder over Ms Manno’s death.
Celeste Manno (pictured), 23, was allegedly stabbed to death by an intruder at her family’s house in Mernda in Melbourne’s north at 4.10am on Monday
Work colleague Luay Sako (pictured), 35, handed himself in to police on Monday morning and was charged with murder over Ms Manno’s death on Thursday
Police received a tip Ms Manno’s alleged killer dumped a mobile phone after she was killed, according to The Herald Sun.
SES volunteers under the guidance of homicide squad detectives searched for the phone between Ms Manno’s home and Mernda Police Station on Friday morning.
They were filmed discovering an iPhone at the intersection of Bridge Inn Road and Breadalbane Avenue in Mernda, which is just 1km from Ms Manno’s home.
A detective placed the smartphone in an evidence bag and took it back to the police station for further examination, where it could provide valuable information.
The iPhone discovery comes after Sako was charged with one count of murder on Thursday night.
He allegedly smashed through Ms Manno’s window before repeatedly stabbing her with a knife and fleeing over a fence that was left stained with blood on Monday.
SES volunteers under the guidance of homicide squad detectives discovered an iPhone at the intersection (pictured) of Bridge Inn Road and Breadalbane Avenue in Mernda which is just 1km from Ms Manno’s home
Police received a tip that Ms Manno’s alleged killer dumped a mobile phone after she was killed. The phone could provide valuable information about Ms Manno’s alleged murder
The 35-year-old handed himself in to local police hours after Ms Manno’s death and was taken to hospital under police guard and treated for a hand injury.
Sako was scheduled to appear via videolink in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday night.
However, legal proceedings continued without his presence due to ‘technical difficulties’.
His lawyer Sam Norton from Stary Norton Halphen, noted it’s the first time his client has ever been in custody.
Police prosecutors asked for ‘more time’ to go through telecommunication records, CCTV footage and an extensive amount of crime scene exhibits.
The Magistrate granted the request and Sako will remain on remand until April 27 next year, before his committal hearing.
Ms Manno is pictured with her partner, Chris Ridsdale, who had been looking forward to celebrating her birthday this week
Ms Manno was Sako’s team leader at a Serco call centre in South Morang and comforted him when he left the company a year ago.
Sako’s family is devastated by his arrest and said they didn’t know much about what he had been doing recently. He is unemployed and living at his parent’s house.
There has been an outpouring of grief over the shocking alleged murder of Ms Manno, who was supposed to be celebrating her birthday this week.
Ms Manno’s boyfriend Chris Ridsdale was among many family and friends who mourned the beloved young woman in the days after her death.
‘She was supposed to be having Christmas with our family. Her family. Her mother. Her brothers,’ he said.
Grieving family: Ms Manno’s brothers Jayden (left), Alesandro, uncle Gabriel and father Tony Manno, with her beloved baby niece Daisy, addressed the media this week
A moving TikTok video showed her living life to the fullest before she was found dead in her home.
Snippets of video showed her singing karaoke, hugging friends, dressing up in a Santa outfit, and bursting out laughing while hitting the dance floor,
Ms Manno was studying at university and worked at a Serco call centre
The video titled ‘Forever miss you, Rest In Peace my angel’ was met with an outpouring of grief when it was posted online.
‘I got goosebumps watching this. She looked like the most sweetest and kindest person. She didn’t deserve for her life to end. RIP Celeste,’ one friend commented.
Another wrote: ‘I saw this on the news and it broke my heart. She was too young and beautiful to be taken from this world.’
Ms Manno’s older brother Jayden described her as a ‘bright, intelligent young woman’ who was ‘the best of all us.’
‘She was loved by everyone – there isn’t a soul on this Earth who could ever say a bad thing,’ The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Her younger brother Alessandro said: ‘It was only two days ago when we were both making homemade pizzas together and having a great time by the pool and talking about seeing our niece tomorrow.’
‘I can’t believe you’re gone and I’m never gonna see you again. You were so perfect in every way and I just can’t believe this is real.’
A relative of Sako said they were ‘mortified’ by Ms Manno’s death and his arrest.
‘This came out of the blue… We can’t do anything, it is not easy. It is very sad,’ they told the Herald Sun.
A grief-stricken man wearing a mask is pictured laying flowers outside the home of Ms Manno
Pictured: The scene in Mernda where Ms Manno was tragically found dead this week at the age of 23