Neighbour Ray told he heard “blood curdling screams” on Tuesday night in the “sleepy little town”. “I’ll never forget the screaming — I’ve never heard that before in my life. It’s terrible,” he said.

“A sleepy little town like this, you don’t expect things like that to happen.”

Friends, family and strangers have flooded Miss Ayliffe-Chung’s Facebook pagewith many offering condolences to her family.

“RIP Lovely, fly high,” Rebecca Fitzgerald Newman wrote about the young woman known as Mimi. James Marilyn Cowan said: “there are no words. I am so sorry, our thoughts are with the family.”


The young British backpacker had spent much of her time in Australia working as a waitress at the Bedroom Lounge and Bar in Surfer’s Paradise. She had previously studied psychology in the UK before moving to Australia.

She left for the state’s north for a three month stint harvesting sugar cane just 10 days ago, to facilitate the extension of her working holiday visa.

Posts made on her Facebook page as recently as yesterday show her counting down the days until she could return to working in a bar on the Gold Coast.

The young woman did appear to warm to farm life, however, with a video of her happily driving a truck with a dirt-smeared forehead, as fellow workers continued to work in the field, posted five days before her death.

Shocked friends flooded social media with tributes as the news of her violent death emerged on Wednesday.

“Just can’t believe it. Mia Ayliffe-Chung was too young and such a beautiful & soulful girl,” wrote Hannah Weisskopf-Biggs.

“Mia was an infectiously happy, young girl, and will be missed dearly. R.I.P. said Rowan Clark.

Work colleague Amy Browne, 19, from the Gold Coast said she was the “bubbliest and most caring girl I knew.”

“She always had a smile on her face, so innocent and full of life and love. Our memories will be cherished forever and I know she’d want us all to stay positive in the darkest of times. Rest in peace my beautiful friend, heaven has truly gained another angel.”