Family calls for change after young mother Mama Benedito allegedly murdered in DV attack

At just 25, with a little baby not even one year old, Mary “Mama” Benedito had everything to live for.

Her cousins say concerns were raised with police three weeks earlier but nothing was done.

Mary “Mama” Benedito died in hospital. (Supplied)

They want systemic change to better protect women at risk of domestic violence.

“She was so happy, so excited to be a mother, like you know, that’s all she wanted,” Suli, one of her cousins, told 9News.

Ms Benedito was remembered as strong and selfless, the kind of woman with “an aura about her”, who “brightened everyone’s day” by simply entering a room.

It was just so hard to see her be taken away from a life that she really wanted for her kid,” Suli said.

Ms Benedito’s family and friends paid tribute to her. (Supplied)

Police were called to the incident in Southport around 5pm on Saturday, where they located the unresponsive and severely injured woman.

The accused, 34-year-old Reo Te Whetu Marama Marsh, allegedly attacked Ms Benedito, took the baby and drove to the Oxley Motor Inn, where it’s believed he gave the baby to friends.

His charges were upgraded to murder after Ms Benedito died at the Gold Coast University Hospital.

The accused, 34-year-old Reo Te Whetu Marama Marsh, has had previous charges in relation to the incident escalated.
The accused, 34-year-old Reo Te Whetu Marama Marsh, has had previous charges in relation to the incident escalated. (9News)

Police confirmed there was no allegation the 11-month-old baby was harmed in any way.

But he has been left without a mother and the family has taken to a GoFundMe crowdfunding page in an effort to help support him.

“Honestly, we can’t put a price to it but for something that Mama would have wanted for him,” Ms Benedito’s cousin, Josiah, said.

“It’s a future that she could have provided, that she’s been robbed from.”

If you need someone to talk to about domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT or visit White Ribbon Australia’s website. In an emergency, call 000.

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