June 8, 2016 – 4:18PM
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. 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. 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 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). 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. 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 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