Relatives of a woman found dead inside her Bellambi home on Friday say they are taking some solace in the five-month-old baby boy she left behind.
Kristie Powell’s baby Slater was still in the process of being weaned off breastmilk when his mother was snatched from him, in circumstances now under police investigation.
With Ms Powell a sole parent, relatives including Ms Powell’s parents Debbie and Rob, and her eldest brother, Ryan Powell, are now caring for the boy.
Speaking to the Mercury on Monday, Mr Powell said his family was experiencing their grief “hour by hour”.
“We’re together,” he said. “We’re here, dealing with the reality that we’re not getting our sister back.”
“She really wanted that baby. She settled straight down. A mother was what she wanted to be and she was being it. She was in her element and she was in the best part of her life. She never left his side. And she had that for five months, so she went a pretty happy lady.
“Any time we look at him [Slater] now, it’s her. Whether that’s the looks or whether that’s the way we’re holding onto her I’m not sure. He’s just got to live for both of them now.”
Ms Powell worked as an accountant before starting her own doggy daycare business. She was an animal lover, and volunteered for the RSPCA, Salvos and the Wollongong Animal Rescue Network.
Her brother described her as bubbly, outgoing and independent. She traveled overseas and had many circles of friends.
When years of dating failed to yield a life partner, she went into motherhood alone.
“She ended up falling pregnant and having this baby and never once put her hand out for help from my mum or dad or myself or my brother,” Mr Powell said.
“She did everything her own way.
“After five months – she was already back working. Nothing was too hard for her. She made it work.”
Police say a friend of Ms Powell’s dialed triple-zero and reported finding her body inside her Lorking Street home about 1.10am Friday.
Police have since called on anyone with dashcam footage from the area, from around that time, to make contact via Crime Stoppers (1800 333 000).
Meantime, a GoFundMe page called Baby Powell Benefit has been set up by friends of Ms Powell’s family to give the boy “the life and all of the opportunities he deserves and that Kristie always wanted”.
The fund has raised more than $16,000 in a day.
To donate to the GoFundMe page, click here.
Your tributes to Kristie
Rip beautiful xox may you forever be your sons angel Jindalee, Bellambi
Sending my dearest condolences to Kristie's family and her little boy. Rest in peace beautiful. Sharon Brown, Koonawarra
Really sad for you..your boy..family and all those dogs you loved..know your son is in the care of family..but guess the dogs have gone elsewhere..really hope they are ok too..when I was running from a terrible man my dog kept me sane..but then she was killed and that broke my heart..hope someone takes care of those dogs for your sake..and love and best wishes to your dear boy..fly high dear..we will keep up the good fight against violence as best we can. Ebony Quinn, East Corrimal
RIP I hope you are good up in heaven Joella, Kiama
Very shocked and sadden of this terrible news. Far to young. Heaven has gain another angel. Thoughts and prayers goes to her family and and to littler boy. R.I.P 💔 Lee Gorak, Wollongong
My heart and prayers are with u both :( Kylie Shaw, Wollongong
There are no words to describe how sad this is... I have a five month old baby too, and cannot imagine a day without him. Beautiful Kristie, your little angel is so lucky to have a loving family that will look after him. Rest in peace Natalia, Sutherland
Your care for Yindi was always so brilliant. She loved you and will miss you. Jane Fullerton Smith, Wombarra
So sad such a beautiful young lady taken too soon it’s not fair Alyce, Wollongong
My family is praying for your son Kelly McColl, Tarrawanna
Didn’t know you, So so unfair Woodsy, Fairy Meadow
Your spirit will live forever xx Jennifer, Berkeley
I didn't know you, but story touched my heart. Julie Harden, NSW.
Fly high angel 💙 taken way too soon. Prayers for your baby boy xo Belinda, Wollongong
RIP wishing your son all the best Brooklyn, Fernhill
I just can’t comprehend the grief your family are feeling atm... You should never of been so vulnerable to such a creature.. I’m sooo sorry. Tracey W, 2528
Fly High in Heaven Queen ❤💛 Kim, Bellambi