REEVA Steenkamp, a former FHM model and law graduate, was the face of Avon cosmetics in her native South Africa.
The model and Oscar Pistorius confirmed that they were an item after speculation surrounded the couple when they were spotted together at the South Africa Sports Awards in 2012.
The model denied early reports that she was dating the athlete, who was named one of South Africa’s sexiest men.
A national celebrity, Steenkamp was a contestant on South African TV show Tropika Island of Treasure 5 which was due to be broadcast for the first time this weekend.
Described as an “absolute angel on earth” by her publicist, Steenkamp had tweeted hours before her death asking her thousands of Twitter followers what their plans were for Valentines’ Day: “What do you have up your sleeve for you love tomorrow???”
Her publicist, Sarit Tomlinson, told Sky News: "Her family is in Port Elizabeth and everyone is very devastated."
Tomlinson also told reporters that the pair had been an item for a few months and enjoyed a healthy relationship.
"We got to hear about it on the news at 8am this morning and we are waiting for official statements. There is too much speculation and no one actually knows what happened."
"She was the sweetest human being and an absolute angel on earth," her publicist said. "It's a huge loss. She was a talented and beautiful girl.
"They had been together for a couple of months and it had been an absolutely healthy relationship."
Born in Cape Town, Steenkamp moved to Johannesburg after landing a job as the face of Avon, she also worked for Toyota, Clover, Zui and FHM. She also worked as a television presenter.
Steenkamp described herself as having "a passion for cars and cooking and prefers to read a book on her off days and spend quality time with friends and family.”