Gabrielle Marshall: Mother speaks out after Colin William Drake pleads guilty to murder
A grandmother has shared her heartache at losing her daughter in a random attack two years ago – as her child’s killer finally pleads guilty to the shocking murder.
Gabrielle Marshall, 23, was found dead in a friend’s house on Main Street in Ulverstone, in Tasmania’s north-west, at 3am on June 15, 2021.
Colin William Drake, 37, who was not known to Ms Marshall, was found in a house on the same street as to where she was staying, and was arrested the same day and charged with murder.
He initially pleaded not guilty to murder but last month changed his plea to guilty.
Ms Marshall’s mother Heidi said her daughter had grand plans for a new life in Tasmania, including buying a house and going skiing with her child.
Gabrielle Marshall, 23, was found dead in a friend’s house on Main Street in Ulverstone, in Tasmania’s north-west, at 3am on June 15, 2021
‘And then the next thing she’s gone. All these dreams and hopes she had for her and her daughter just left,’ she told Seven News.
Ms Marshall, who had a daughter of her own, had just moved interstate from Queensland three weeks earlier to start a new life.
She had returned from a date on the night of June 15 to the home of a friend where she’d been staying since moving.
Her friend rang police in the middle of the night to report a man ‘prowling’ inside her house.
She was on the phone to emergency services for 11 minutes but when officers arrived they found Ms Marshall had been stabbed to death in a room.
Ms Marshall was the youngest of six, with her mother describing her as being ‘beautiful on the inside and outside’, with a huge heart.
‘It’s totally destroyed my family. It’s just really, really hard. The pain is constant,’ Heidi said.
Ms Marshall was killed in a random attack. Her murderer was not known to her
Ms Marshall’s friend and her friend’s children are understood to have witnessed the young woman being murdered. Her own daughter was just six at the time.
Heidi now plans to travel to Tasmania for Drake’s sentencing on October 23.
‘I want to face him and I want to tell him what he has done to the family,’ she said.
Drake has been remanded in custody ahead of his appearance at the Supreme Court of Tasmania next month.