Dwayne Herelle Jr., 28, has been charged with murder after he allegedly knifed Irene Torres, 24, outside the home she shared with her parents in the early hours of Jan. 29, according to her sister and local reports.
Herelle reportedly was waiting for Torres to come home from her shift at work and then “snuck up from behind and ambushed her,” the victim’s older sister, Reyna Douglas, wrote in a GoFundMe page for Torres.
“She was dragged and stabbed repeatedly in front of her [parents’] home,” she wrote.
On Wednesday, investigators revealed during a packed court hearing that Torres had been stabbed “in the excess of 17 times,” WKRN reported.
Herelle then dragged Torres’ body into the trunk of his car and drove to his home, where he stuffed her remains into a storage bin and stashed the bin in his closet, police said.
Metro Nashville Police Detective Derry Baltimore said in court that the pair got into an argument before the attack, according to the local outlet.
Herelle also dumped bloody pants and a purse that belonged to Torres in a dumpster behind a grocery store, Baltimore said.
Torres’ parents reviewed the surveillance footage outside their home after they realized their daughter never came home and reportedly saw Herelle dragging her out of the camera frame, police said.
Torres’ father confronted his daughter’s ex, who initially told him that she was at a hotel before allegedly confessing to the murder and telling him that her body was in his closet.
Torres had broken up with Herelle a month before she was killed, according to her sister, who said the relationship was abusive both physically and emotionally.
“While most 24-year-olds are planning their careers, and futures, and are optimistic about the world, Irene spent some of the last months of her young life abused, degraded, terrorized, and fearful,” Douglas wrote. “Irene showed immense bravery in leaving her abusive relationship and was so happy to start her new life with the support of her family, only to be hunted down in her front yard and brutally murdered one month later.”
She called her sister’s death “a senseless tragedy,” but said her memory will live on.
“For those that were fortunate to know Irene, despite being terrorized, abused, and living in fear, she always had a smile on her face and a compliment to give,” Douglas said.