Celeste Manno’s family grieve lost 24th birthday


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Ms Manno would have turned 24 on Sunday.

“I’ve been trying to find the words to write this for what feels like forever now, and I’ve been putting it off because I didn’t want it to be real,” her brother, Jayden, wrote on Sunday.

“I’ve always said of all the Mannos, you are the brightest, wisest, and most certainly the toughest. And you were.

“You were your family’s rock, pillar of strength and protector. You were a devoted daughter, niece, sister and aunt.”

Mr Manno, 33, said that despite being the older brother, he felt he always had more to learn from his sister.

“I’m sorry we didn’t get to spend as much time together as we would have liked, but I will forever cherish the time we had together,” he said.

“My daughter, who you were so proud and excited to call your niece, will always grow to hear stories of how amazing her Zia Celeste was and I promise you I will do my absolute best to raise her and to empower her to be as strong and as wise as you.

People have been laying flowers for Celeste Manno, who was found dead at her home in Mernda.Credit:Paul Jeffers

“Happy birthday my little sister and rest in peace. I love you.”

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In the days after her death, Jayden said his sister had been extremely excited about seeing her baby niece Daisy this week as coronavirus restrictions lifted.

Mr Sako and Ms Manno were former colleagues at a call centre in Mill Park.

Ms Manno’s family say Mr Sako became “obsessed” with her after she was kind to him on the day he was fired more than a year ago.

The family says Ms Manno went to police with concerns she was being stalked and an intervention order was in place at the time of her death.

An online petition to tighten laws around stalking has garnered almost 5000 signatures.

On Friday, police seized a mobile phone during a search for evidence in the area between Ms Manno’s home and Mernda police station.

A makeshift shrine outside Ms Manno’s home also continues to grow, with dozens of people leaving floral tributes. Friends and family members have also left cards, candles, picture frames and a Care Bear.

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Serena Williams seeks 24th grand slam amid coronavirus pandemic


Fears that strict health protocols due to the COVID-19 outbreak could deter the game’s biggest names from competing at this year’s US Open have been somewhat allayed as Serena Williams confirmed she will play the New York event.

Williams, in a video message played during a United States Tennis Association news conference to announce that the August 31-September 13 tournament will proceed without fans, said she misses the excitement of competition.

Serena Williams, pictured after winning the US Open in 2012.Credit:AP

“Ultimately, I really cannot wait to return to New York and play the US Open 2020,” the seven-times champion said.

“I feel like the USTA is going to do a really good job of ensuring everything is amazing and everyone is safe.”



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