A ‘warm and wonderful’ mum who was stabbed to death on the school run whilst carrying a child in her arm, has been pictured for the first time.
Aliny Mendes was knifed in broad daylight by a man who jumped out of a black 4×4 and attacked her.
The 39-year-old was described as ‘full of life’ by members of her Catholic church community.
Ms Mendes had only separated from her husband around a month ago and had moved to a ‘protected’ home in Streatham, south London, according to one priest.
Members of the Portuguese-speaking community in the area gathered at the scene of the murder on London Road between Stoneleigh and Cheam.
They laid flower tributes and photos of the mother at the spot where she was pronounced dead yesterday afternoon.
Parshioners from St George’s Church in Epsom have now set up a crowdfunding page to raise money for her family and children.
Two men were arrested in connection with the murder later on Friday afternoon less than a mile from the scene in Cheam.
Witnesses described seeing them being handcuffed and led away as a police helicopter hovered overhead.
A priest at the church, Father Gianom, said: ‘She was a person full of life, she had to look after the children a lot.
‘She had four children – three boys and a girl, the youngest was a girl. I recently baptised her.
‘She was a person dedicated to the family a lot, she was really a nice woman.’
Paramedics tried to revive the woman, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
A bunch of flowers left at the police cordon this morning read: ‘You were so warm and such a wonderful mum. There are no words. Lots of love Alison and family’.
Residents on the busy A-road said she was carrying a child at the time and that she may have been collecting her two other children from the nearby primary school for the 3.15pm pick-up.
A woman said: ‘She has three children, two go to the school.
‘The other is a baby.
‘My granddaughter goes to the school and they send the children home at 3.15pm so she must have been on her way to pick them up.’
Officers say they believe the victim and suspect were known to each other, and the stabbing would have been witnessed by ‘a number of people’.
Chief Inspector Michael Hodder from Surrey Police said: ‘This was a tragic and shocking incident in which a woman has lost her life after being attacked in broad daylight.
‘Our thoughts are with her friends and family at this time.
‘At this stage we believe the victim and suspect are known to each other.
‘We realise there will be a number of questions about what has happened which we will try to answer when we can and would ask the public not to speculate.
‘We have a number of officers in the area to both investigate and support the community following this attack which we believe would have been witnessed by a number of people.
‘If you did witness what happened and haven’t already spoken to officers, or may have dashcam footage I would urge you to do so immediately, by calling 101 and quoting the reference number PR/P19030779’.