The sister-in-law of a murdered new mother promised she would take care of the baby boy found unharmed in the room next to her.
Kristie Powell, 39, a single mother, was found dead with her throat slashed in her home in Bellambi, Wollongong, in the early hours of Friday morning.
Her five-month-old son named Slater was found unharmed when a friend stumbled upon the scene and put into the care of his grandparents.
Ms Powell’s former employee Bhanu Kirkman, 29, was charged with murder over her death after he was arrested on on Monday.
Michelle Powell, wife of Ms Powell’s brother Ryan, posted the first photo of Slater since he was rescued from the house where his mother died.
‘You are loved, you are safe, we are blessed,’ she wrote next to it.
Michelle thanked dozens of friends and family who offered support in the days after Ms Powell was killed and told them Slater was ‘doing so well’.
‘He is a dream who is eating, sleeping and smiling. Having him with us has helped [her own five children] at this really horrible time,’ she wrote.
‘We are blessed to be part of such a loving community. Little Slater is doing well and sleeping safely in my arms.’
In an earlier post, the day after her sister-in-law was killed, she posted a photo of her family having just gone swimming in a lake.
‘Yesterday we managed to find a ray of sunshine in a really tough day,’ she wrote.
‘Thank you all for your beautiful messages. Apologies for my lack in response as I am putting all my energy into my babes right now.’
‘We are on our way home today to snuggle a special little man who is so very loved.’
Michelle’s most recent post, made about the same time Mr Kirkman was arrested, showed a more grim reality as she asked friends for spare packing boxes, presumably to help pack Ms Powell’s house.
A GoFundMe page written by family member Kristy Corrigan paid tribute to Ms Powell and asked for donations to help Slater.
‘This tiny five month old baby boy lost his loving Mum a few nights ago. Kristie Powell was devastatingly taken from this life while her little boy slept,’ she wrote.
‘Nothing can replace the love that Kristie gave her darling boy but he is so blessed to have a very special and loving family to care for him.
‘To give him the life and all of the opportunities he deserves and that Kristie always wanted we felt it was fitting to raise some funds to hopefully make the next few weeks, months or years smoother.
‘So he can have new clothes when he needs, nutritious food, an abundance of books, good education and the best medical care available.’
Ms Powell was killed months after she told friends a stalker calling himself ‘The Reaper’ was sending her threatening messages.
She said many of the messages, from a man who worked at her dog-sitting business for four months in 2016, included ‘die Kristie die’.
Mr Kirkman, who uses ‘Reaper’ in an alternate Facebook name, was on Monday afternoon found hiding under a railway bridge in the Hunter region.
He was arrested on unrelated drug, fraud, resisting arrest, and weapons charges for which there were outstanding warrants.
Mr Kirkman was then charged with Ms Powell’s murder late on Monday night.
Police said Ms Powell was found outside her bedroom with serious injuries to her upper body and head from a sharp object.
‘We’re treating it as a homicide, no doubt, we are looking for a perpetrator that’s committed that crime,’ Inspector Ainsworth said.