A shocked community is today rallying round to support the family of a ‘lovely and beautiful’ girl stabbed to death in her Sheffield home.
Neighbours today described 22-year-old Leigh-Anne Mahachi as a ‘nice young girl’ who was always smiling.
Leigh-Anne was found with multiple stab wounds in a house on Spotswood Close, Gleadless Valley, on Tuesday morning.
Paramedics took her to hospital but she could not be saved.
Neighbour Lindsey Grayson, aged 30, said she has organised a collection along with another neighbour to buy the flowers for the family.
She added: “You can’t make it any better, but we want to let the family know that we are not a community who are going to turn our backs on them. We have organised the collection to show them we are thinking of them.
“Leigh-Anne was such a nice young girl, so lovely and beautiful. She always smiled and spoke to me.”
Lindsey said Leigh-Anne had lived in the house with her mother, Cecillia, and brother, Taf, for about three and a half years.
“They were the perfect neighbours, so polite,” she said.
“They never brought any trouble round here. I still can’t believe it.
“A couple of my neighbours have told me that they saw Cecillia come out in the street in her dressing gown. Apparently she was hysterical – but of course she would be, it’s her daughter.
“I can’t stop thinking about how Leigh-Anne must have felt, or what her mum must be going through now. It’s heartbreaking.”
Lindsey said she heard screaming on Tuesday between 8am and 8.15am.
“I thought it was kids running past on their way to school so I just ignored it, I didn’t think anything of it,” she said.
“At about 8.54am I went into the kitchen and saw the police and the ambulance out of the window.
“About an hour and half later forensics turned up and that’s when I realised it was something serious.
“Nobody told us what was going on, but I wasn’t allowed to leave my house and the area was cordoned off.
“I heard on the radio that it was a murder investigation and then it really started to sink in what had happened and the shock kicked in. You don’t expect this to happen on your doorstep.”
Cousin Tammy Moyo posted a photograph of Leigh-Anne on Facebook along with the caption ‘RIP to my beautiful cousin.’
A 37-year-old man, from the Colchester area, was arrested on suspicion of murder on Tuesday afternoon and continues to be interviewed by detectives.
A post mortem examination revealed that Leigh-Anne died as a result of multiple stab wounds.
Family liaison officers were seen going in to the property yesterday afternoon but the police cordon has now been removed.
It is understood Leigh-Anne, who is believed to have been Zimbabwean, studied as a student in Colchester.