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 tomorrow.
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.
His family has vowed to fight the murder charge in the "strongest terms".
Pistorius's best friend claimed the sports star called him minutes after the shooting telling him "there has been a terrible accident", according to the Sunday People.
Justin Divaris said: "It's all very sad. Oscar called me at 3.55am saying that Reeva had been shot.
"It was very traumatic. By the time we got there it was already a crime scene and we weren't allowed in the house."
Pistorius's father said he had "zero doubt" Miss Steenkamp's death was a tragic accident and that his son may have acted "on instinct".
Henke Pistorius said he believed the model was killed after being mistaken for an intruder at his son's house.
He said: "When you are a sportsman, you act even more on instinct.
"It's instinct - things happen and that's what you do."
Miss Steenkamp's father, Barry, also paid tribute to her in a newspaper interview.
He told the Mail on Sunday the family was struggling to come to terms with the death, but said: "There is no hatred in our hearts."
"He must be going through things that we don't know about.
"We ask the Lord every day to help us find a reason why this should happen to Reeva.
"She was the most beautiful, kind girl in the world."
Pistorius' management company have issued a statement announcing it had "no option" but to cancel all future races the double amputee had been contracted to compete in.
Managing agent Peet Van Zyl said the athlete's "key focus is defending himself against this serious charge".
Pistorius was contracted to compete in the Manchester City Games on May 25, following Qantas Tour races in Australia on March 9 and 16, as well as meetings in Rio de Janeiro (March 31) and Iowa (April 26).
Police have said they oppose Pistorius being given bail tomorrow.