In the hours leading up to her death, Reeva Steenkamp, the girlfriend of South African blade-runner Oscar Pistorius, was cheerful and eagerly looking forward to Valentine's Day on February 14. Pistorius, a double amputee who became one of the biggest names in world athletics, is due to appear in court on Friday on charges of murdering Steenkamp.
"What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow?" tweeted Steenkamp on February 13. The post was re-tweeted over 1500 times since her tragic death.
The arrest of the 26-year-old Olympic and Paralympic track star stunned a nation that holds him up as hero who triumphed over adversity to compete with able-bodied athletes at the highest levels of sport.
His girlfriend, model Steenkamp, was found shot dead in his plush Pretoria home in the early hours of Thursday, police said, announcing that they had opened a murder investigation. Initial reports of the shooting suggested Pistorius may have mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder.
The evening edition of Johannesburg's Star newspaper plastered the case across its front page, with a banner headline: 'Oscar arrested: Girlfriend killed'. A 9-mm pistol was recovered from the scene and police said there had been previous incidents of "a domestic nature" at the residence, which sits in the middle of a heavily guarded gated complex in the northern outskirts of the South African capital.
Still no electricity at home! Monday, no wonder no one likes you!!!!— Reeva Steenkamp (@reevasteenkamp) February 11, 2013