Heartbreak at loss of ‘soulmate’ and father
THE former partner of an Innisfail man who died on Thursday night has told of her heartbreak at the loss of her children's father.
Ekala Grieve said her children were so excited to be going to a pool party on Sunday, promised by their dad, Raymond Smerdelj.
But Mr Smerdelj never got the chance to enjoy the family gathering before he was allegedly stabbed to death at an Edith St block of flats.
"I'm heartbroken. He was literally our everything and now he's gone I can't believe it," Ms Grieve said.
She said the father of her two children had just been released from a six-month prison stint and had plans to turn his life around.
"He texted me telling me how much he loves us and that he was changing himself for his children," she said. "He just wanted to better himself and make a good life for himself."
Together for eight years, the couple recently split up but Ms Grieve said Mr Smerdelj was always her soulmate and best friend.
"We shared a house together, we had two beautiful kids together.
He was my best friend, my soulmate," she said.
"I couldn't let go of what we had together.
"Now it's all just memory we shared and all moments (shared) we will cherish."
Ms Grieve said her daughter is yet to understand that her father is now gone.
"He was my daughter's superhero. She looked up (to him, he was) the apple of her eye," she said.
"The bond they shared was so heartwarming.
"He never did no wrong in her eyes.
"She keeps asking to call him because she's still too young to understand."
Clay Stone, 30, has been charged with Mr Smerdelj's murder and is expected to face court in January next year.
Residents of the Edith St flats were allowed back inside the building late on Friday after forensic teams carried out an investigation in the area.
Police confirmed an autopsy had been ordered.