Olympic and paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius, known as the ‘Blade Runner,’ has been arrested after his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, was shot dead at his home in Pretoria, writes the BBC. She was declared dead at the scene with bullet wounds to her head and upper body.
Steenkamp, 30, who was first spotted with Pistorius, 26, at the South Africa Sports Awards in 2012, was a former FHM model and face of Avon cosmetics for South Africa. She was also a national celebrity and contestant on a reality TV show, Tropika Island of Treasure 5, which was due to be aired for the first time this weekend.
Steenkamp was born in Cape Town and later moved to Port Elizabeth with her family. Her father, Barry Steenkamp, was a famous horse trainer connected to the well-known South African trainers the Amos brothers. She went on to graduate with a degree in law and moved to Johannesburg six years ago, after she signed a deal with Avon. The model’s publicist described her to Sky News as “the sweetest human being,” and “a talented and bright young girl.” She also said that the couple had a “healthy, fabulous relationship.”
The model had previously described herself as a person with a “passion for cars and cooking and prefers to read a book on her off days and spend quality time with friends and family.” She was an active Twitter user and tweeted to her followers late on Wednesday night of how excited she was about Valentine’s Day. “What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow???” she asked. Steenkamp was also a promoter of domestic violence awareness and re-tweeted a message on Wednesday advising people to “wear black this Friday in support against #rape and woman abuse #blackfriday.”
Most notably, the model sent out the following tweet on Feb. 10:
I woke up in a happy safe home this morning. Not everyone did. Speak out against the rape of individuals… instagr.am/p/Viq8nNwPRy/
— Reeva Steenkamp (@reevasteenkamp) February 10, 2013
Police say that there had been previous incidents at Pistorius’ home, which they describe as “allegations of a domestic nature,” says the BBC. The Olympian was expected to appear in the Pretoria Magistrate’s court on Thursday afternoon but this has been delayed until Friday.