This post deals with violence against women and might be triggering for some readers.
On Saturday afternoon in the Gold Coast suburb of Southport, 25-year-old Mary Benedito was found unresponsive in an apartment. She was allegedly strangled by her partner.
Three days later, Mary died while being treated in intensive care at the Gold Coast University Hospital.
She is the 40th Australian woman killed by violence in 2021. She leaves behind an 11-month-old son.
Watch: Women And Violence: The Hidden Numbers. Post continues below.
When Mary was found in her apartment, police issued an amber alert when they realised her 11-month-old son, Saint, was missing from the Southport home. Officers later tracked down the boy, who was unharmed, seven hours later around midnight.
Mary's family released a statement on Tuesday, which read: "As Mama grew her wings she left behind her beautiful son Saint. With Saint’s father being charged with her murder, baby Saint has been denied the future his mother dreamt of. Whilst words will never express our grief, we can only extend our thanks to friends, family and the wider community."
Loved ones have also shared stories of Mary, saying that she always sought to make everyone around her smile, despite her own unhappiness at home.
"She was really unhappy in her relationship and she tried hard to break it off," friend Kelepi Teu told The Courier Mail.
Red flags before alleged brutal murder of ‘selfless, bubbly Mama’ https://t.co/c84skqrWZA— The Courier-Mail (@couriermail) November 30, 2021
"She was really very selfless, whatever she was going through she would just sweep it under the rug and focus on keeping you happy," Teu said.