Reeva Steenkamp, who was allegedly gunned down by Paralympic sports star Oscar Pistorius, was the "most beautiful person who ever lived", her mother has said.
June Steenkamp described her "horrendous" torment at her model daughter's death as Pistorius prepares to attend court for a bail hearing on Tuesday.
Mrs Steenkamp told South African newspaper The Times: "She loved like no one else could love.
"She had so much of herself to give and now all of it is gone. Just like that, she is gone ... In the blink of an eye and a single breath, the most beautiful person who ever lived is no longer here.
"All we have is this horrendous death to deal with ... to get to grips with. All we want are answers ... answers as to why this had to happen, why our beautiful daughter had to die like this."
Miss Steenkamp was shot dead at Pistorius's Pretoria home on Thursday.
South African newspaper City Press reported that a cricket bat covered in blood had since been recovered from the luxury property.
Pistorius, 26, was remanded in custody after a hearing on Friday at which prosecutors said they intended to pursue a case of premeditated murder against the athlete - which means he could face a life sentence.
The Paralympian, who won two gold medals and a silver at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, was met by a media frenzy as he arrived at the packed courthouse, supported by his father, brother Carl and sister Aimee in court.
His arrest triggered shock across the globe and prompted rumours that he may have mistaken his girlfriend for an intruder in what could have been a Valentine's Day surprise gone wrong. But police swiftly distanced themselves from that suggestion and said there had been previous incidents of a "domestic nature" at Pistorius's property.