NSW man accused of killing partner dies in custody
THE man accused of trying to suffocate his former partner on the NSW Central Coast has died in custody.
Lance Michael Pearce, 34, was charged with attempted murder this week for allegedly trying to suffocate Blair Dalton, 35.
Ms Dalton's family were forced to turn off her life support on Thursday after she was taken to hospital with critical injuries following the attack in her Ettalong Beach home.
The couple have a young son together, and Mr Pearce is father to another three children with Donna Welsh - also a friend of Ms Dalton.
It's understood Mr Pearce was being held at the maximum security Metropolitan Remand and Reception Centre, linked to the Silverwater Correctional Complex in Sydney's west.
On Friday, NSW Police confirmed its Corrective Services unit was investigating the circumstances surrounding of the death of a 34-year-old man.
"The death is not believed to be suspicious," a police spokeswoman said.
"A post mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of his death, with Brisbane Water Local Area Command preparing a report for the coroner."
Police were called to the home of Ms Dalton at 7.10pm on Tuesday and found her suffering critical injuries.
She was given CPR and taken to Gosford hospital, while Mr Pearce was taken to Gosford police station where he was charged with attempting to strangle her with intent to murder.
He was refused bail and appeared in Gosford Local Court on Wednesday, where he was seen dressed in white and looking distressed.
He could be heard saying "no, no" and "is she all right, she has to be all right?" from the dock, before a magistrate ordered the 34-year-old undergo a psychiatric assessment.
On Thursday, Ms Dalton's life support was switched off by her family and her organs were donated to science.
"Our beautiful Blair, who is always helping others, will today continue on this path when the transplanting of her organs begin," her father Robert wrote on social media.
Another emotional tribute was left online by Ms Welsh, who was devastated at the death of beautician Ms Dalton, and the arrest of Mr Pearce.
"Shell shocked, words can't describe the heartache and confusion in processing this horrific and incomprehensible feeling we are all feeling right now," she wrote.
"My three kids and I will always see you as their step-mamma and no one will replace the memories. How do I explain this to the kids?"
Pearce had been due to appear in Gosford Local Court in November and his charges were expected to be upgraded to murder.
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