A woman found bashed to death at her home north of Wollongong NSW Australia overnight once told friends she had repeatedly contacted police with fears about a stalker.
Kristie Powell’s badly battered body was discovered outside her bedroom inside the house on Lorking Street, Bellambi, about 1.10am on Friday.
She died only a few metres from the bedroom where her five-month-old son was sleeping. The baby was found unharmed.
In March, Ms Powell, 39, told friends she could no longer answer calls from private phone numbers because she had a stalker.
She said that someone she knew, who was mentally unwell and had become “obsessed” with her about two years ago.
He sometimes sent her more than 100 messages a day, including many that said, “Die Kristie die,” she said.
Despite this, she said there was nothing police could do, as the man had never approached her home and had not been deemed by police to be a serious threat.
She told friend she mostly found the man amusing but that he needed serious help, and wasn’t getting it from a mental health system that continually released him.
Detective Inspector Brad Ainsworth said the woman was found dead outside her bedroom by a friend about 1.10am, and the friend then called emergency services. The unharmed baby boy was found in his own bedroom.
Fairfax Media has confirmed Ms Powell had suffered extensive injuries from a sharp object around the head and upper body.
A woman was found dead by police at her home in Wollongong with her 5-month-old child found unharmed in its bedroom.
Inspector Ainsworth said the woman was found with a “substantial amount of blood” on her.
“There was definite signs of physical injury on her person,” he said.
“I would say there could be [a weapon used] but there’s nothing more I can say about [it].”
The woman lived alone at the house with her son, Inspector Ainsworth said.
With no one else immediately able to care for the baby boy, NSW Ambulance paramedics took him to Wollongong Hospital. He has since been released into the care of grandparents.
Police have been unable to track down the baby’s father.
With the investigation in its early stages, he said it was unclear if the person responsible for the woman’s death was known to her.
“We’re treating it as a homicide, without doubt. We are looking for the felon that’s committed that murder,” Inspector Ainsworth said.
“We will do a canvass; [we have] obtained CCTV footage from nearby residents and businesses. We will go through that and, hopefully, our investigations will bear fruit.”
Earlier this year, Ms Powell had revealed excitement to friends, expressing to them she was “making” her own baby, after giving up on pursueing romantic relationships.
The Illawarra Mercury understands she was close to her family and was dependant on their support in rearing the child.
Detectives have canvassed the neighbourhood, a quiet street with well-maintained houses and many long-term residents, just a short distance from Bellambi Public School.
Neighbours contacted by the Mercury said they slept through the ordeal. They expressed shock at being woken by police in the early hours to say she had been murdered.
Some spoke of the “lovely” woman they’d recently seen walking along the street pushing a pram.
The Mercury understands Ms Powell had lived at the house for about six years.
A crime scene has been established at the house and officers from the Wollongong Police District are conducting a forensic examination.
Inspector Ainsworth said police have not yet determined a cause or time of death.
“We will have to see he outcome of the post-mortem results, the crime scene examination, the whole lot,” he said.
No one has been arrested.