The man accused of strangling and killing his ex-girlfriend reportedly choked to death on his chicken sandwich in prison.
Lance Michael Pearce was expected to face murder charges after allegedly trying to suffocate his former partner Blair Dalton, 35, earlier this week.
Pearce was found dead in custody on Friday, less than 48 hours after Ms Dalton’s family made the decision to turn her life support off.
The NSW Central Coast woman died in hospital Thursday evening after suffering critical injuries during the alleged domestic incident at Ettalong Beach on Tuesday night.
Lance Michael Pearce, 34, (right) choked to death on a chicken sandwich in custody after he allegedly suffocating and strangling his former partner Blair Dalton (left)
After being in custody for barely three days, Pearce was reportedly found unresponsive on his bed at about 11am after being served breakfast, according to Daily Telegraph.
It is thought Pearce may have choked on a food item, plastic wrapping or sugar sachets.
Police and prison staff told the publication the death baffled them and haven’t heard anything like it.
The exact cause of death will be determined by the coroner who will assess CCTV footage.
Pearce was placed on suicide watch when he was first admitted to Silverwater Jail.
Ms Dalton (pictured) died in hospital after allegedly being strangled by Pearce Tuesday night
Ms Dalton, who shared a young son with Pearce, donated her organs to help others following her tragic death, her family shared early Friday.
‘Our beautiful Blair who is always helping others will today continue on this path when the transplanting of her organs begin RIP our best friend love dad and Gail,’ they wrote.
Family and friends shocked at her passing also left emotional tributes to the young woman on social media, calling her ‘one of a kind’.
‘Rest easy hun… U didn’t deserve to go this way, will remember our good old party days… Ur a awesome chic… So sad for u and all ur loved ones… (sic),’ one person wrote.
While a friend added: ‘RIP Blair I am so blessed to have been able to work with you. You truly were one of a kind, down to earth and the life of the party.’
‘Spread your wings and surround them around your loved ones sweetie. Rest easy.’
Pearce (pictured) was found unresponsive Friday morning in jail by prison staff, hardly spending three days in custody
Ms Dalton’s family posted early Friday morning the news Blair (pictured) had died and that her organs had been donated to help others
The alleged attack happened at Ms Dalton’s home, with police arriving at the Ettalong Beach property, on the Central Coast around 7.10pm Tuesday.
After locating Ms Dalton, officers commenced CPR, with NSW Ambulance paramedics taking her to hospital in critical condition.
Pearce was taken to Gosford Police Station following the incident, where he has was charged with attempt to strangle/suffocate with intent to murder.
According to The Daily Telegraph during a court appearance Wednesday, he was heard saying ‘no, no’ and ‘is she all right, she has to be all right,’ from the dock.
He was refused bail and was set to return to court on November 24 where charges against him were expected to be upgraded to murder, police said.
Officers called to the scene commenced CPR on Ms Dalton (pictured), with NSW Ambulance paramedics then taking her to hospital in critical condition
The alleged attack happened at Ms Dalton’s home (pictured) at Ettalong Beach on New South Wales Central Coast
Police were called to the scene around 7.10pm and were pictured investigating Wednesday morning
Friends described Ms Dalton as a ‘good Aussie girl,’ according to 7 News.
‘We’re just waiting on doctors reports but the end result won’t be good either way will it?’
While others sent their love and best wishes to the family, many expressing how Ms Dalton was ‘very giving to the end and beyond’.
‘I can’t begin to imagine what you all must be going through right now. She was so loved,’ one person wrote.
While another added: ‘Take your angel wings and let your loved ones feel a gentle breeze as you fly close to them during this difficult time.’
The national domestic violence helpline is 1800 737 732. In an emergency call triple-zero.
Ms Dalton was taken to Gosford Hospital following the alleged attack, but died Thursday night, with family and friends taking to social media to express their sadness
The alleged attack happened at the mother’s home in Ettalong Beach (stock image pictured), with Pearce refused bail and set to return to court on November 24, with charges expected to be upgraded