"Lizard Man" Bronson Ellery's terrified ex-girlfriend considered faking her own death to escape him just one month before he brutally murdered her in his Gold Coast apartment.
Shelsea Schilling was just 20 years old when her ex-partner Ellery - dubbed "Lizard Man" by police because of his tattooed appearance - bashed and suffocated her in November last year, the Daily Mail reported. Ellery was found lying dead next to her body.
Schilling's mother Bonnie Mobbs revealed on Tuesday her daughter wanted to escape Ellery and start a new life.
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"I only found out after the fact but she needed money because she wanted to change her identity or she'd need to fake her own death," Mobbs told the Gold Coast Bulletin at a Red Rose Foundation rally at Labrador.
"She even said to me - and this is a long time ago - something along the lines of 'sometimes it's better staying with him because at least you know you are not going to die'."
Schilling reportedly did try to escape from Ellery before her death, even moving from the Gold Coast to New South Wales temporarily.
But she missed her family and returned not long after.
In an attempt to go unrecognised she cut her hair and dyed it a different colour.
She also quit her retail job at Harbour Town, where Ellery used to visit her during work hours.
She also had a restraining order taken out against him.
Schilling's interest in faking her own death was also confirmed by her best friend Allana Miley on Tuesday.
Miley said her friend spoke about disappearing and allowing her family to mourn her.
"What she wanted to do was be dead to everybody, so she didn't exist. [She] was going to be dead to her mum and dad," she told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
Schilling's mother has actively campaigned for the safety of domestic violence victims since the November murder-suicide.
"How many lives need to be innocently taken by the actions of selfish people?" Mobbs said at the Red Rose rally where family and friends turned up to show their support.
Online, Mobbs called for "better protection" of victims.
"The government laws need better protection for all these innocent people. Put an anklet band on these bastards and monitor every move. Even if the victim has to wear a bracelet to alert them that the perpetrators are nearby," she wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.