Tamara Turner moved from the US for her Melbourne sweetheart. It was a fatal move

June 8, 2016 – 4:18PM

Tammy Mills

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Steven Samaras (left) is in custody being questioned over the death of his partner Tamara Turner (right).

Steven Samaras (left) is in custody being questioned over the death of his partner Tamara Turner (right). Photo: Facebook

Tamara Turner fell in love and fell in love hard.

Within the space of two weeks she was engaged to an Australian man she met on Facebook and was planning to move across the world from her home in Branson, Missouri to be with him.

“We were all concerned about it,” her son Chuck Smith said over the phone from Arkansas.

Chuck Smith and his mother Tamara Turner on his wedding day in May 2014.

Chuck Smith and his mother Tamara Turner on his wedding day in May 2014. Photo: Supplied

“But me and my sister wanted her to be happy. I mean, she was a 48-year-old woman, you gotta do what makes you happy.”

It would be a fatal move.

At 7am on Monday, Ms Turner’s body was found on a bench outside a hospital in the isolated Victorian town of Mildura with injuries consistent with an assault.

Tamara Turner's body was dumped outside the Mildura Base Hospital, allegedly by her partner, on Monday morning.

Tamara Turner’s body was dumped outside the Mildura Base Hospital, allegedly by her partner, on Monday morning. Photo: Sunraysia Daily

She had been allegedly dumped there by the man she loved and had married in February.

“I just kind of sunk,” Mr Smith said of the moment he received a phone call from police.

“I cried, I tried to call my family, but I could barely talk … she gave birth to me, she’s my mum.”

One of the last shots that Tamara Turner's children have of their mother. This was taken at the airport in December last ...

One of the last shots that Tamara Turner’s children have of their mother. This was taken at the airport in December last year before she flew out to be with Steven Samaras. Pictured L-R are Ms Turner, her grandchild Kylie and daughter Natasha King. Photo: Supplied

Ms Turner grew up in the tiny town of Theodosia in Missouri in the US midwest.

She had separated from her husband when her two children were small after he returned from serving in the Gulf War.

He got full custody of Chuck and his sister Natasha – now Natasha King – mainly because their father, a military man, had a steady job.

Tamara Turner (middle) with her two children; Natasha King (left) and Chuck Smith (right).

Tamara Turner (middle) with her two children; Natasha King (left) and Chuck Smith (right). Photo: Supplied

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s not because she was a bad mother, she just wasn’t able to support us,” Mr Smith said.

She cared for her children regularly, he said, and then her six grandchildren, working two to three jobs for most of her life.

Most recently though, Mr Smith said, she was looking for love and a connection.

Steven Samaras posted this photo of his partner Tamara Turner in a tribute to her before his arrest.

Steven Samaras posted this photo of his partner Tamara Turner in a tribute to her before his arrest. Photo: Facebook

She found it with Steven Samaras, a 47-year-old from Preston in Melbourne.

“They were obsessed with each other; that’s the way I read it,” Mr Smith said.

Facebook was their public platform for their daily messages professing their love for each other, as well as the tyranny of distance.

Victoria Police released this image of Steven Samaras on Monday

Victoria Police released this image of Steven Samaras on Monday Photo: Victoria Police

“I LOVE YOU TAMARA, WITH ALL MY HEART, CAN’T WAIT, GETTING HARDER TO BE AWAY FROM YOU,” Mr Samaras, who typically wrote in capital letters, posted to her in November.

“I know baby,” Ms Turner responded.

“It’s really hard for me too. But in the end it will be so worth it. I love you.”

Hours after her death and despite police publicly asking him to come forward, Mr Samaras was still posting messages to his sweetheart.

‘FLY HIGH WITH THE ANGELS, YOUR [SIC] TAKEN FROM ME IN THIS LIFE GORGEOUS, BUT I WILL BE WITH YOU IN THE NEXT LIFE,” he wrote on Monday night.

“U DIDN’T WANT TO LOSE ME AND AND I LOST YOU…PASSING AWAY IN MY ARMS HURT ME.”

As far as Mr Smith knew, his mother was only taking prescription medication to ward-off the painful effects of fibromyalgia, a condition she had had for eight years.

Mr Smith made it clear to his mother that it was going to take some time for him to build a relationship with her new boyfriend.

He told them he was going to give them a year, and if it worked out, he would try.

He’s now waiting for his mother to come home in a casket.

Mr Smith said he is still hoping her death was an accident.

“I could live with it a lot better if it was an accident and my mum wasn’t murdered,” he said.

“I can’t sit here and judge that man yet.”

The father-of-three said he wanted people to know two things about his and his sister’s mother.

“She was very loved. And she will be missed.”

Mr Samaras remains in police custody. No charges have been laid.

Source : The Age

Trees cocooned in webs as ‘ballooning’ spiders take refuge in flood-hit Tasmania

June 8, 2016 – 2:03PM

Megan Levy

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It’s an arachnophobe’s worst nightmare.

As the flood emergency continues to grip parts of Tasmania, thousands of tiny spiders have evacuated their waterlogged nests and burrows and taken refuge in the trees in the town of Westbury, near Launceston.

A resident, Ken Puccetti, took photographs showing several trees shrouded in white webs, with small black spiders clearly visible on the silk folds.

The spiders have thrown silk snag lines into the air to haul themselves out of the water in Westbury, Tasmania.

The spiders have thrown silk snag lines into the air to haul themselves out of the water in Westbury, Tasmania. Photo: Ken Puccetti

Graham Milledge, the collection manager in arachnology at the Australian Museum, said the spiders were escaping the floodwaters using a phenomenon known as ballooning. This occurs when small spiders throw out silk filaments and catch a ride on the wind to higher ground.

“People don’t realise how many spiders there are out there until you see events like this,” Mr Milledge said, after examining the photographs.

“These mass ballooning events are often associated with particular environmental conditions, for example the flooding that’s happening in Tasmania at the moment. I would imagine the spiders are just trying to get away from the water, basically.

In heavy rain, spiders fling themselves to safety by casting silk threads on top of trees and shrubs.

In heavy rain, spiders fling themselves to safety by casting silk threads on top of trees and shrubs. Photo: Neil Richardson

“What they do is they climb up to a high vantage point – up to the end of a stalk of grass for example – and then they point their abdomen to the sky and let out a silk thread. The wind captures that and acts like a parachute and carries them off.”

A similar event occurred in Goulburn in the Southern Tablelands in May last year, when a resident, Ian Watson, described how his house looked as if it had been “abandoned and taken over” by the spiders.

“The whole place was covered in these little black spiderlings and when I looked up at the sun it was like this tunnel of webs going up for a couple of hundred metres into the sky,” he said at the time.

Spider webs cocoon trees during the floods in Westbury, Tasmania.

Spider webs cocoon trees during the floods in Westbury, Tasmania. Photo: Ken Puccetti

Mr Milledge said smaller species of spiders, often juveniles, were responsible for creating the webs.

“Generally they’re spiders that live on or close to the ground, for example money spiders, which build small webs in grass and so forth. Other spiders that have been known to do it are juvenile wolf spiders, which live on and in the ground,” he said.

Most of the spiders were considered “pretty harmless”, he said, and would disperse once the floodwaters receded.

“Personally I haven’t seen it before, but there have been other incidents. It’s not that common but it does happen every now and then,” he said.

Source : Sydney Morning Herald