The two were found outside their family home in Kidman Park, Adelaide, South Australia, by police. Sabrina Lekaj’s mother called authorities an hour prior, conveying her concern for her daughter and expressing worry about her safety, according to Daily Mail.
Adelaide pianist Sabrina Lekaj, who was found dead in a car, remembered by friends https://t.co/KWf4AhvSSO
— ABC Adelaide (@abcadelaide) July 23, 2019
By the time the police had arrived at the scene after a long search for the pair, Sabrina Lekaj was already dead. Her father, Petrit Lekaj, had severe stab wounds to his abdomen. Police were able to get the seriously injured 49-year-old out from the car after breaking the car windows and dragging him out at around 11:40 p.m. local time. He was rushed to the Royal Adelaide Hospital, where they were able to keep him in stable and sedated condition, according to 7 News.
The news outlet reported that police allege Petrit Lekaj was the one who killed his daughter—stabbing her before stabbing himself after. He was determined by the Port Adelaide Magistrates Court to be unfit to stand trial in court on July 23 and would be attending the hearing scheduled on July 26. In the meantime, he remains in police custody.
Flowers were sent to the Lekaj’s family home, according to 7 News.
Before her death, Sabrina Lekaj attended a party on Hindley Street with her friend Kat Valstar, according to 7 News. When Valstar heard about her friend’s death, she was devasted.
“Her last words before she got in her car were, ‘I love you, and I’ll message you when I get home,’ and that’s all I heard from her,” Valstar said.
“I’m in shock, upset and just trying to comprehend what’s happened,” Valstar said, 7 News reported. “Everyone’s having breakdowns, and I’m trying to, you know, push through the fact that she’s gone.”
According to 7 News, her friends said that Sabrina Lekaj was a very kind and hardworking person.
Another student, Emma Rowe, also paid her own respects to the 20-year-old, according to Daily Mail, and wrote, “Rest in peace sab. I will never forget our [psychology] and [biology] classes. You’ll be missed.”
One of Sabrina Lekaj’s friends from high school, Jana El-Omr Fandi, paid tribute to her friend on her Instagram, writing, “I can’t believe I’m writing this. My beautiful Sabrina. Incredibly talented pianist, high achiever and queen of dark humour. I love you. Forever in our hearts.”
She told ABC Adelaide that she and Sabrina Lekaj were very close in high school, and would spend a lot of time together.
“Throughout high school, we were very close, and we did a lot of things together,” Fandi said. “We both loved music and she was an incredible pianist and we did competitions together, along with other students from the school—that would have to be the highlight of my school years.”
Fandi also told ABC Adelaide that Sabrina Lekaj was an incredible person who was sweet and funny.
“No matter how sad she was, she always made sure others around her were OK,” Fandi said. “She was always there for anyone who was around her. She always put others before her.”
Fandi recalled that Sabrina Lekaj loved science and the courses that she picked in college stemmed from her desire to help people, ABC Adelaide reported. Fandi said Sabrina Lekaj used to tell her that she would “find a cure for all the diseases in the world.” She added that the late Sabrina Lekaj had been very ambitious, smart, and a high-achiever.
“I was always so proud of her because her talent was incredible, but she would always say, ‘no, I can do better, I’ll do better,'” Fandi recalled. “But she was the best.”