Source: Illawarra Mercury
Kimberley Fesus will soon turn 18 – the same age as her mother, Jodie, when she was brutally murdered and buried in a shallow grave at a Gerroa camping ground.
The young Mount Warrigal mum’s murder in 1997 has since baffled police – and it’s had a profound effect on the young woman who only knew her mother through photographs and other people’s memories.
On Monday, Kimberley fronted a press conference at Lake Illawarra Police Station to plead for public help to finally bring her mother’s killer to justice.
“I’m speaking out today in the hope that someone can help the police in solving my mother’s murder,” Kimberley said.
“I was just two years old when my mum was taken from me. I don’t remember her. All I have is photographs to look upon and a few keepsakes that belonged to her.
“I am almost the same age that my mother was when she was murdered. The older I get the more questions I have.
“I hope that by appealing to the public today someone out there may have the answers I seek.”
Jodie Fesus disappeared from her home on August 12, 1997. Her husband, Steven Fesus, said he had left his young wife asleep and taken their children Kimberley, then 2, and Dylan, aged one, on an errand.
Jodie Fesus, from a 1997 photo.Jodie was gone when they returned – her purse was found two days later at Oak Flats train station and a month later an anonymous tip-off led police to a camping ground at Seven Mile Beach, where her remains were found on September 14, 1997.
Despite a lengthy police investigation, and a 2005 coronial inquest, no-one has been charged with the murder.
Kimberley, who bears much resemblance to Jodie, said growing up without a mum had been hard for her and her brother, Dylan. Every milestone they reached was bittersweet, without a mum to share in their achievements.
“It was really hard not having a mum around, especially when you go to your year 6 formal … or when you have your first boyfriend or something like that, it’s definitely hard,” she said.
Kimberley is forging her own path in life – she lives independently in Warilla and is studying sports therapy at TAFE. However, she yearns for answers – and justice.
“I want someone to be accountable for my mother’s death,” she said.
“Like the police, I believe there are people in the community who know something about the death of my mum. I am confident that the police will not rest until they have solved my mum’s murder.”
Kimberley Fesus is desperate for answers about the murder of the mother she never knew. Photo: SYLVIA LIBER