Sad find in slain mum’s wardrobe
WHILE clearing out her mum's wardrobe, Elly Tyquin found a gift she was meant to get for her 21st birthday, and her heart broke all over again.
The discovery came after Melbourne fitness trainer Rachel Tyquin was killed by her neighbour during an early morning walk at Sunbury in April 2016.
The 44-year-old, who was engaged to be married, was stabbed 19 times with a kitchen knife and died on the nature strip in her active wear.
Eva Whitecross, 55, inflicted the wounds but she was found not guilty of murder in August because of mental impairment.
She was suffering from a delusional disorder, the Victorian Supreme Court found. Justice Jane Dixon on Wednesday ordered Whitecross to live at a psychiatric facility indefinitely, with a 25-year nominal term.
But Elly, 22, hopes her mum's killer will never be released. She's lost her best friend, confidante and role model.
"I lost a part of me, the day mum died," Elly told the court in a statement. "She was a strong, kind-hearted, caring, beautiful woman, and I was proud to call her my mum."
Elly was forced to grow up fast after the death, speaking to detectives, funeral organisers and counsellors.
She eventually gathered the strength to go through her mother's belongings. When she did, she found old letters, photos and clothes - and her 21st birthday gift.
"My birthday present, half finished, was hidden in her wardrobe," Elly said. "It included a music box on which she had written 'Happy 21st, beautiful daughter. Love Mum'.
"Finding that gift broke me. The song it played, I couldn't listen to it for months."
The court was told Ms Tyquin was a busy fitness trainer who planned to visit Europe with her daughter.
"It is very apparent that Rachel Tyquin was a vivacious and inspiring woman in the prime of her life," Justice Dixon said.
"She was held in very high regard by those who knew her." The stabbing followed years of verbal abuse from Whitecross aimed at Ms Tyquin over a perceived parking dispute.
On the day of the attack both women were walking their dogs when their paths crossed about 6am.
After the stabbing, Whitecross walked home, had a shower and made a cup of coffee before driving to the police station.
Justice Dixon said she had hurled "vile" abuse at the victim for seven years as her delusions grew, calling her a "moll" and a "whore".
Whitecross will undergo psychotherapy while she lives in supervised custody at Thomas Embling Hospital.