Amy Elizabeth Farrall was a kind, caring person who loved animals, her family says.
Farrall, 24, was last heard from on Saturday between 8am and 9am. On Sunday afternoon, her body was found in the boot of her car in a Christchurch supermarket carpark.
An hour earlier, a German woman, 28, and a woman of Japanese and Dutch origin, 27, were found stabbed and with broken bones in Franz Josef.
The pair had been picked up while hitchhiking at Whataroa.
Investigators believed the two incidents may be connected. A man has been arrested in relation to the attacks and is in Christchurch Hospital after being bitten by a police dog.
In a statement released through police yesterday, her family said Farrall was a kind, caring girl who always helped people in need.
In 2011, Farrall completed a Certificate in Mental Health Support Work from CPIT and she worked as a caregiver at Richmond New Zealand, an organisation providing community-based mental health and disability support services. She was a former Lincoln High School pupil.
The family said they were "devastated that her caring nature appears to have been tragically taken advantage of " and were "shattered" by her death.
Friends took to social media to express their shock and grief after police found Farrell's white Toyota Corolla in the car park of Woolston New World. A decorative pink stiletto hung from the car's rear vision mirror.
Her partner wrote that Farrall was his "beautiful soul mate".
"I love you with all my heart. I know [you're] watching over me and will always be by my side. Fly high and be happy and smile down on us," he said.
Another friend said Farrall had "so much heart to give".
"Such a beautiful soul, and she was a great friend," they wrote.
Others took to Facebook after Farrall's name had been made public. "RIP Amy, you were a ray of light in one of the darkest times of my life. You will be sorely missed," wrote one woman.
Richmond New Zealand chief executive Barbara Disley declined to speak about Farrall, "given the amount of time that's passed".
"We are still dealing with the tragedy and for us it's a terrible, tragic loss. We are really just focused on supporting her co- workers and her family."
INJURED TOURISTS SHOCKED BY UNPROVOKED ATTACK
The two women tourists attacked while hitchhiking on the West Coast are shocked and scared by the ordeal.
The pair, a 27-year-old from Japan and a 28-year-old from Germany, had recently met in Nelson.
They were hitchhiking from Whataroa to Queenstown when they were attacked by a man who picked them up on Sunday afternoon.
The tourists were found on the side of the road at Franz Josef with serious injuries about 4pm on Sunday.
The German woman had stab wounds to her neck. Her companion had a broken pelvis, believed to have been caused as she escaped from the vehicle.
A West Coast District Health Board spokeswoman said the 28-year-old German woman was in a serious but stable condition and the 27-year-old Dutch/ Japanese woman was stable.
A Nelson man, who did not want to be named, said he met the travellers two weeks ago.
He had been in contact with them in hospital yesterday. They told him they "were still in shock and scared".
In Nelson, the pair travelled together to the Abel Tasman National Park and Nelson Lakes. They left Nelson last Thursday to travel to the West Coast.
"They are both really similar, outgoing, sweet people with a love of travel. They are trusting and honest but not naive," the man said.
They were heading to Queenstown where they were scheduled to meet one of their sisters today.
The younger woman had not hitchhiked before but her companion had done so extensively in Australia.
The Japanese woman had been working on organic farms around New Zealand and had previously lived in England, Holland and Tokyo. She wanted to spend three months in New Zealand.