The brother of a Bellambi mum found dead in her home last week has thanked the community for their outpouring of support.
Ryan Powell, his wife Michelle and parents Debbie and Rob will care for and raise Kristie Powell’s five-month-old son, Slater.
The body of Ms Powell was found at her home on Lorking Street last Friday.
The man accused of murdering the mother was refused bail in a Maitland court on Tuesday.
Mr Powell said he and his family felt “empty” following his sister’s death but their spirits had been lifted slightly when they heard about the well wishes and donations sent to them.
“I want to thank everyone in the Illawarra who has thought about the tragedy in our family and who has donated money,” he said.
“People have given what they can to someone else who is hurting.
“It is reassuring to know people will help out someone in their community.”
Ms Powell’s death has left the community reeling.
“No one deserves to have what was done to Kristie happen to them,” Mr Powell said. “As a society we don’t agree with it and we want to help.”
Mr Powell, who has five children under 11 years old, has vowed to “give Slater the best life we can”.
“We are heartbroken and now Slater will have to live without his mother,” he said.
“But we are going to look after Slater, take care of him, give him an education and love him.”
Close family friend Oskar Peterson has asked locals who want to support the family to donate to a GoFundMe page.
“I know they will need baby items such as nappies for Slater,” he said.
“Michelle and Ryan have never been the people to ask for charity but this fundraising effort is about Slater and his future. They know people want to help.”
Mr Peterson has contacted several local and national organisations to ask for donations or assistance to ease the financial burden on the family.
Kimberley-Clark has generously donated 15 packets or 434 Huggies nappies and 11 packs of baby wipes.
Mr Powell said he was overwhelmed with gratitude to those who had helped raise funds for Slater’s future.
“All the donated money will go into an bank account to be spent on Slater,” he said.
Mr Peterson, who is a single father, said the Powell’s were a generous and loving family. They had helped raise his daughter Samara since she was 18 months old.
“I was away a lot for work and Michelle was Samara’s preschool teacher,” Mr Peterson said.
“Michelle offered to look after her one time and that became more regular. Samara is an interwoven part of their family.
“She was the flower girl at Michelle’s wedding and was there when Michelle had her children.
“Samara, who is now 15, lives with me but was staying with the Powell family last week during the school holidays.”
Mr Powell said it had been a week since the death of his sister but he was still waiting for her to walk through the door and tell them everything was okay.
“I don’t know how to explain how I feel,” he said. “It has been a week and now her death seems harder to believe. It has sunk in more.
“There are some days where I just want to sit on a chair and rock back and forth but then other days I can go outside.
“I don’t know how someone is savage enough to take away my sister.”
The family feel like they never got the chance to say goodbye to Ms Powell.
“We had a beautiful dinner with her on Thursday night,” Mr Powell said. “There are so many things I wish I would have said to her.
“I don’t get that chance now.”
Mr Powell has also thanked the police officers investigating his sister’s death.
“The police have done a fantastic job,” he said.”They have treated myself and my parents with professionalism and have kept us well informed.”
The public funeral for Ms Powell will be held today at H.Pasons Funerals’ Bulli Chapel, located at 278 Princes Highway, Bulli. The service will start at 10am.
Mr Powell said anyone who wanted to say goodbye to Ms Powell was welcome to attend.
To donate: www.gofundme.com/baby-powell-benefit or contact Mr Peterson to offer assistance: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 saddened of this terrible news. Far to young. Heaven has gained another angel. Thoughts and prayers goes to her family and and to her little 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, Fairymeadow
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 cant 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
May you fly high beautiful soul taken way to soon from this curl world. Rebecca Sloan, Koonawarra Dapto
My heart really goes out to Slater who lost his mum. Adam, Bellambi
It’s sad to hearing a lovely mum got killed. Kevin, Canleyvale NSW
RIP KRISTIE Branka Roso, LITHGOW 2790
No mother should have to leave their infant through senseless violence. xxx Ella, Seacliff
I didn't know you Kristie, but as I looked up to the heavens you are a this beautiful 🌟 Aeisha, Warilla
I stood outside your home and prayed and cried for you and your precious baby. I never knew you but only lived around the corner from you. God bless you. God has an angel in his arms.. Kelly Fitzgerald, Bellambi