A mother-of-two was stabbed to death during a Boxing Day home invasion in Australia – and two teenagers have now been charged with her murder, local authorities have said.
Emma Lovell, 41, was stabbed in the chest in her front yard during a break-in at the family’s North Lakes residence on Monday night, Queensland Police have confirmed.
Paramedics performed emergency surgery on her at the scene, and she was ultimately pronounced dead at the hospital.
In a statement released on Tuesday afternoon, law enforcement said two 17-year-old boys had been charged with murder, attempted murder and entering a dwelling with intent in company in connection with the death of Lovell.
The suspects – whose names have not been released – have each been denied bail. They are then due to appear in Brisbane Children’s Court.
Two other boys, aged 17 and 16, are cooperating with the investigation after being arrested along with the accused murderers. The four teenagers were previously known to police.
Originally from Ipswich, Lovell moved to Australia with her husband, Lee, more than a decade ago, The Guardian reported. The couple first traveled the continent before settling outside Brisbane to raise their daughters.
Lee Lovell, 43, suffered minor injuries in the attack and was treated in hospital.
Speaking to reporters outside his home on Tuesday afternoon, Lee said the family was “devastated”.
“Emma was the glue of my family, she was such a beautiful person,” he told ABC News Australia.
Skye Fleming, 14, told the outlet that she was a friend of Lovell’s younger daughter and described the victim as a “second mother”.
“She was amazing, she was always a good mum, she was always laughing, always smiling, was there to support her daughters through everything,” the teenager lamented.
“She considered everyone as family. It’s such a tragic thing.
Christina Lofthouse, Lovell’s best friend of 33 years, was also devoid.
“He was the first person I messaged in the morning and the last person I spoke to in the evening,” she told the East Anglian Daily Times.
“This horrific and senseless crime has left a huge hole in our lives.”
Just a day before the murder, the Lovells celebrated Christmas Day on the beach in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. They marked the occasion with a smiling waterside selfie, which Lee Lovell shared with friends on Facebook.
“I hope everyone has a great Christmas…spent with loved ones and friends,” the unsuspecting husband and father wrote at the time.
While the inquest into Lovell’s death is still ongoing, a fundraiser for the family quickly racked up AUD 32,504 (about $21,909) in less than 24 hours.
“During this difficult time, as a community, let us help support Lee and the girls as they go through this heartbreaking tragedy,” reads the donation page.