OVER 2,000 people have now signed a petition to help bring two children home to Limerick, after their father was killed in the US.
A custody hearing case has been set for this Friday, which could hopefully bring an end to some of the anguish of the deceased’s family.
Jason Corbett, who was originally from Janesboro, was found dead at his home in Wallburg, North Carolina with fatal head injuries on Sunday, August 2.
However, Jason’s children are now in custody of their stepmother, who is the chief suspect of the case.
The 39 year-old moved to the US four years ago with his young children Sara and Jack, following the death of his first wife in 2006, who passed away tragically due to an asthma attack.
He since remarried to Molly Martens Corbett, pictured opposite.
Police in the US have said they are not looking for anyone else in connection with their inquiries, after a 911 call was made just after 3am on that date. A grand jury will decide next month whether she will be charged with murder.
Tracey and David Lynch, Jason’s sister and brother-in-law, were asked to be the children’s legal guardians, should anything happen to their father following the death of their biological mother.
Tracey and David are now in the US and are fighting to bring the children home to Ireland with them, along with Jason’s remains. But it’s understood that they may face a lengthy and costly legal battle.
“We have grave concerns for the health and well-being of these children...There should be no custody hearing. We are fighting to bring two Irish citizens home,” he said.
Mr Lynch has also been critical of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Irish Consulate, saying they have been left to fight this battle on their own and they have been updating the department, rather than vice versa.
Friends of the family have now launched a petition and a fundraising appeal for the family to help them in this time of need.
The funds raised will help with travelling expenses, accommodation, and legal fees. At the time of writing, more than 1,600 people had signed the online petition and it continues to grow by the hour.
“We would like to be able to bring Jason home where he wanted to be buried with Mags. Jason was left bereft when she died, they were soulmates,” Tracey told the Limerick Leader. “My family want to honour the wishes of my brother.”
She said that they are not returning from America without Jason, or without his two children. In a post on Facebook, alongside a photo of her and her brother, Tracey wrote: “You may be miles and miles away for now, but this is what you need to know. This is what I need to say, so J when your feeling lonely lying in the dark, always know I’ve got your back. Because not only are you my brother, your my best friend, xxx.”
The fundraising drive, entitled Jason’s Journey, which has been established by Mary Fitzpatrick and two friends – Simone Dillon and Catherine Bourke – is to help the family with the costly expenses.
Ms Fitzpatrick said she recognises the pain that the family is going through, as her eldest son died in an unprovoked attack in 1999, when he was 19. “When I heard the devastating news that the family lost their son and brother, it actually hit home to me, because I too lost my son to murder in Limerick city, 16 years ago,” she said.
She said funds have been slow to come in but their campaign has only just begun, and posters will be distributed throughout the city.
Contributions to Jason’s Journey: Permanent TSB branch in Dooradoyle. The account number in the name of Mary Fitzpatrick is 11240513 and the sort code is 990715.