A 23-year-old student had her throat slit as she screamed for help in a busy shopping centre car park.
Horrified witnesses looked on as University of Kent student Molly McLaren was savagely attacked at the Dockside outlet centre in Chatham, Kent.
Her boyfriend Joshua Stimpson, 25, was arrested at the scene and has now been charged with her murder.
Miss McLaren was sitting in the passenger seat of a black Citroen C1 when she was attacked around 11am yesterday.
Witnesses say her attacker trapped her in the car then slashed her throat as she beeped her horn and screamed for help.
Police said she sustained injuries consistent with stabbing and died at the scene.
Miss McLaren and Stimpson had confirmed their relationship on Facebook last December and their social media profiles featured several pictures of them together.
Kent Police have now referred the murder to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, after Miss McLaren may have previously reported Stimpson to the police.
Joshua Stimpson, from Rochester, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder.
Officers charged him with murder and he appeared before Medway Magistrates’ Court on Friday.
He was remanded in custody to appear at Maidstone Crown Court on July 3.
A second year undergraduate at the University of Kent studying Sport and Exercise for Health, Miss McLaren worked as a dog walker and in pubs to fund her studies.
Shortly before her death she said she was ‘Passionate about health, wellness, and fitness; physically, mentally and socially’ and ‘inspired daily with the desire to inspire others.’
The youngster, who ‘radiated positivity’ also worked tirelessly to promote a better awareness of mental health issues.
The 23-year-old’s murder was confirmed by grieving relatives today.
Her family were too distraught to speak at their home in Cobham, Kent. But one cousin, who asked not to be named, said: ‘Me and my sister are really upset. We are in shock at the moment.
‘The whole family is. My cousin has just been murdered and we’re still trying to process it.’
Miss McLaren’s best friend Alex Niechoj, 24, was ‘distraught’ over the horrific news of her death.
Speaking outside their home in Strood, near Chatham, Teresa Niechoj, 48, said: ‘They have been best friends since they were 15. We know Molly very well and have known her for a long time.
‘Alex is distraught. He is very upset. He’s not okay at all. We’re all very upset about it.’
Miss McLaren previously worked in the Leather Bottle and The Ship pubs in Cobham as a waitress and bartender.
The hard working pupil was a member of her university’s netball team and a student representative.
She attended the North Kent College in Dartford and Mayfield Grammar School in Gravesend.