The shattered father of an eight-year-old boy allegedly murdered by his mother in a home on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula has expressed his “emptiness”.
A home video from three years ago, posted to Facebook, shows a laughing Brodie Moran, a young and happy child whose death has rocked a small community.
No words have been more difficult than those of his father, who lives in China.
“I feel empty, still in shock. I have lost the best part of me,” Lee Moran posted on Facebook.
“Words cannot describe how much I love and miss my little fella.”
Mother Joanne Finch faced the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court today showing little emotion after Brodie Moran was found dead inside a home.
Less than a day ago, the 41-year-old was arrested after emergency services were called to their Tootgarook home and the boy was found dead.
Ms Finch was last night charged with one count of murder in an out-of-sessions court hearing.
This morning locals paid tribute to Brodie, who has been described as a “happy child”.
Many people arrived to lay flowers for the Year 2 student, with resident Cooper Bullows-Baker leaving a teddy bear in remembrance of a boy about his own age.
When asked why he brought a teddy bear, he replied, “So he rests in peace”.
Police are investigating whether Brodie may have been suffocated.
The court heard today Ms Finch is on anti-depressant medication.
She was remanded in custody until June 29.
Tootgarook Primary School, where Brodie attended, issued a statement from the principal, calling the death a “tragic event”, while schoolmates of the popular student have been offered counselling.
“I was friends with him, I talked to him every day,” schoolmate Alicia said.
“He was amazing, he was very nice … Just so generous.”
Locals said Brodie lived at the home with his mother and a man.
Police said the man is not a person of interest in the case.
“I’ve seen the mother with the child, trick or treating, you know … (a) normal family,” neighbour Carly Wood said.
Another neighbour said they had seen the boy playing on the trampoline that sits in the home’s front yard.
“He was always a happy child,” she said.
“We’d wave hello as we were collecting the bins. They’d always say hello back.”
“You don’t see this type of thing down here,” added resident Ray Stokan.
“No words can describe how I think everyone is feeling.”
The home was up for sale at the time of Brodie’s death, and was due to be open for inspection this weekend.
Neighbours said the family had been renting the property for about a year.