The parents of a woman murdered by her partner before he took his own life have said they will never understand why he did it.
Maddie Durdant-Hollamby, 22, was stabbed to death by Benjamin Green, 41, at his home in Kettering, Northamptonshire, in August.
Her mother Rachel said she was a “perfect daughter, perfect friend” and a “beautiful person within”.
Her father Steve added there were no signs of prior domestic violence.
The body of Ms Durdant-Hollamby, from Wimblington, Cambridgeshire, was found on Slate Drive on 27 August, alongside that of Mr Green, 41, who had fatal self-inflicted stab wounds.
Speaking to the media for the first time, her mother said: “A lot has been made in the press about her beauty and how pretty she was, but she was a beautiful person within.
“She was caring, loving, compassionate; she loved her family and she loved her friends. That’s what we will always remember of her.”
Ms Durdant-Hollamby lived with her parents and worked in marketing for a construction company.
Her mother said the Covid-19 pandemic gave them the “opportunity to spend quality time together as a family”, and they celebrated her daughter’s 21st birthday at home.
She said the day before her body was found, she saw via a phone app that she was at Mr Green’s house, but was not worried.
It was only the following day, when she received a text from one of her daughter’s friends, that she began to be concerned.
The friend, wondering why Ms Durdant-Hollamby had not joined her and another friend on a group call the previous evening, asked “had I heard from Maddie”, she said.
The parents’ concerns grew when they learned she had missed a work meeting, which was out of character.
A friend went to Mr Green’s house but got no answer, so the couple called the police.
While waiting, they saw the house on a local news report about a “major incident”.
“That’s when we both knew it was not going to be good news”, said Mr Durdant-Hollamby, who worked with Mr Green.
Mrs Durdant-Hollamby said her daughter and Mr Green had been disagreeing about her going on holiday without him the following week.
She said that while their daughter was aware of her parent’s concerns about her relationship and the age gap, she had not told them she was ending it.
“We think she actually probably wanted to be able to come home later that evening and say ‘I’ve ended my relationship with Ben and I’m going to go on holiday next week and have a great time’,” she said.
Mr Durdant-Hollamby said the post-mortem examination showed their daughter had not struggled “and then you know what has happened and what Ben has done”.
He added: “The hardest bit with it, we’ll never understand the why. It’ll never come out. We live with that, and unfortunately his family will as well.”
Mrs Durdant-Hollamby said she “can never forgive him for what he’s taken from her and taken from us”.
But she said she felt only sadness, not anger.
“She had her whole life ahead of her to live but it doesn’t stop me feeling incredibly sad for his family and for him,” she said.
“He had his whole life ahead of him as well – three beautiful children, a career, a house – he had everything in his life that he’d worked towards and wanted.
“It’s such a waste; it was a waste of her life but also a waste of his.”
A fund in Ms Durdant-Hollamby’s name has so far raised more than £39,000 for the Construction Youth Trust, which helps youngsters join the industry.
“It’s something we think we can use as a legacy and it definitely helps us going forward,” said Mr Durdant-Hollamby.