Family battles to take girl home

Jackie Jones with her sister, 22-year-old Justine.
Jackie Jones with her sister, 22-year-old Justine.

THE distraught family of Justine Jones fear they may not be able to afford the huge cost of taking their “darling girl” home to lay her to rest.

Police discovered the 22-year-old's body on Thursday at the Nambour dump, nine days after she was last seen at her Alexandra Headland unit.

The blue-eyed beauty had moved to the Sunshine Coast from her hometown of Narooma, in south eastern New South Wales, to “spread her wings” and be with her older sister, Jackie.

Richard Coburn, of Sippy Downs, who had been in a relationship with Justine, has been charged with her murder.

An autopsy was conducted yesterday but no results were available.

Already crippled with grief, Justine's parents Kathleen and Michael are now struggling to make ends meet with their modest finances.

Dad has been out of work due to a shoulder injury and the couple have no savings.

Even the cost of travelling more than 1300km back to the New South Wales south coast tomorrow is daunting.

“It is all sinking in now with the finalities. I miss my girl so much,” Kathleen said as tears rolled down her cheeks.

“I don't want people to think badly of us, but I am not sure how we will afford to bring her home.

“We don't know where to turn, there's not a lot of family.”

Kathleen said Justine was so young and beautiful it would be nice for her final goodbye to reflect that memory.

“We want to give our darling girl the most amazing send-off,” she said.

“She is so special and deserves to be remembered with respect.”

Ms Jones said the outpouring of emotion from across Australia had touched her heart and she thanked everyone for their support.

“I have had hundreds of calls and messages,” she said.

“Justine loved life on the Sunshine Coast and had lots of friends.

“I really do not want to seem ungrateful.”

Under the Queensland Victims of Crime scheme, the State Government will contribute up to $6000 towards the cost of the funeral on application.

However, the median price of a funeral is between $4500 and $7500, plus the additional expenses of transportation and professional fees are an extra burden that can add up to thousands.

The Daily plans to set up an account tomorrow to collect donations for the Jones family.

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