The family of a 21-year-old woman who died after she was stabbed said she wanted to "excel in life".
Mary Wells was treated by paramedics at an address in Laing Road, Colchester, at about 05:35 GMT on 17 January, but she died at the scene.
A provisional cause of death suggested she died of stab wounds to the neck and torso, Essex Police said.
Adam Butt, 21, of Laing Road, has been charged with murder. He is due before Chelmsford Crown Court on 28 April.
Miss Wells' family, who live in the United States, described her as a "bright" woman who had graduated from Dallastown High School in Pennsylvania.
In a statement, they said: "Mary lost her mum a few years ago, but she had a goal to make her mum proud of her.
"She was looking to excel in life and will be loved and missed by all."