Teresa Halbach, whose brutal 2005 slaying is the center of the hit Netflix docu-series, Making of a Murderer, almost didn t go to the home of the man convicted of killing her on the day she died.
Before her death, Wisconsin native Halbach, 25, had started her own photography business, and was making extra money taking pictures of vehicles for Auto Trader Magazine.
“The sad part was that at the time of her death, she was getting more and more clients and couldn’t take care of Auto Trader at the same time,” a longtime friend of Halbach’s tells PEOPLE.
“She had told Auto Trader she was going to quit in two weeks and just work out of her studio because she was burning the candle at both ends.”
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The source says she had told her clients – including the Averys, whose property she had visited at least 15 times before her death – that she would no longer be taking pictures for the magazine, the source says.
But Halbach became concerned when Avery, now 53, came to the door in one of her last visits to the salvage yard, “wearing just a towel,” the source says.
“She was worried about that. She said, ‘I am not going back to the Averys,’ ” the source says.
But on the morning of Oct. 31, 2005, the day of Halbach’s murder, Avery allegedly called the magazine and requested Halbach for the photo shoot. “She said she didn t want to go,” says the source. “Auto Trader begged her to go – to do them this one favor – do one more picture.”
A rep for Auto Trader did not respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.
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Ken Kratz, who prosecuted the case, previously told PEOPLE that Avery had “targeted” Halbach, who was so concerned by his alleged advances that she’d told her employer and her friends about him before her death.
“She had a bad feeling about him,” says Halbach’s longtime friend, Gina Haring. “She said, ‘He looks at me weird. He creeps me out.’ ”
On the day of her murder, Halbach had three appointments to take pictures and made her final stop at the Avery family’s auto salvage yard.
Her charred remains were ultimately found in a burn pit behind a trailer on the salvage yard property, where Avery lived.
Avery is currently serving life in prison without the possibility of parole. He maintains his innocence and believes he was framed in retribution for filing a $36 million lawsuit against the county and authorities.