Eliza McPhee for Daily Mail Australia
04:18 02 Oct 2023, updated 08:06 02 Oct 2023
A mother has shared her heartache over losing her daughter in a random attack two years ago as her child’s killer finally pleaded guilty to the shocking murder.
Gabrielle Marshall, 23, was found dead at a friend’s home on Main Street in Ulverstone, north-west Tasmania, at 3am on June 15, 2021.
Colin William Drake, 37, who was unknown to Ms Marshall, was found at a house on the same street where she was staying and was arrested the same day and charged with murder.
He initially pleaded not guilty to murder but changed his plea to guilty last month.
Ms Marshall’s mother Heidi said her daughter had big plans for her new life in Tasmania, including buying a house and going skiing with the baby.
“And then she left. All these dreams and hopes that she had for her and her daughter just went away,” she told Seven News.
Ms Marshall, who had a daughter of her own, had just moved from Queensland three weeks earlier to start a new life.
She returned from a date on the evening of June 15 to a friend’s house, where she lived after moving.
Her friend called the police in the middle of the night to report a man “loitering” around her house.
She was on the phone to emergency services for 11 minutes but when officers arrived they found Ms Marshall had been stabbed to death in the room.
Ms Marshall was the youngest of six children and was described by her mother as “beautiful inside and out” with a huge heart.
“It completely destroyed my family. It’s just really, really hard. The pain is constant,” Heidi said.
Ms Marshall’s friend and her friend’s children are believed to have witnessed the young woman’s murder. Her own daughter was only six years old at the time.
Heidi now plans to travel to Tasmania for Drake’s sentencing on October 23.
“I want to meet him face to face and tell him what he did to the family,” she said.
Drake was remanded in custody ahead of his appearance in the Tasmanian Supreme Court next month.