Mother-Of-Two Who Allegedly Blackmailed Family With Dead Child's Photos Appears In Court
Jay and Dee Windross issued an emotional plea for the return of their mobile phone two weeks ago, which contains the only remaining photographs of their 11-month-old daughter, who had died of a neurological issue.
Dee's phone was stolen just days before their daughter, Amiyah Victoria, died in hospital from an "undiagnosed neurological issue".
The Windross' plea for the thief to return the phone went viral on Facebook, as the parents tried desperately to retrieve the photos of their daughter.
"We beg you as grieving parents not to wipe the phone. This phone holds the memories of what little life our daughter has had.
If you want the phone, we're more than happy to arrange to meet, we'll copy the photos off the phone and you can keep the phone. What is on the phone is worth more than anything in our life."
The phone was left in Melbourne's Chadstone Shopping Centre bathroom accidentally -- Dee quickly realised her mistake once she left the bathroom and ran back to find it had already been taken.
In the final day before Amiyah Victoria's death a woman -- identified today in Ringwood Magistrates' Court as 24-year-old Siti Nurhidayah -- contacted Jay Windross through a text claiming to have the phone in her possession and demanded a direct deposit of $1000 for its return.
Jay described in a Facebook post how the parents were "trying to spend every emotional minute with Amiyah" when they allegedly received the text from Nurhidayah.
"This person continued to message me into the night while Dee and I were having our final moments with Amiyah".
After being tracked down and interrogated by Victoria Police, Nurhidayah admitted that she did not actually have the phone and had simply seen the offer for a reward and wanted to take advantage of the parents.
Jay said that they "cannot begin to explain the hurt and emptiness we are already feeling, but to get this news has just broken us even more."
The parents also said that they want to see the suspect punished and called her "a pathetic excuse of a human".
Nurhidayah was charged with blackmail for the attempted deception.
Nurhidayah is a Malaysian national and has only been living in Australia since last September. She had been working as an Uber Eats delivery cyclist to support her two children.
Bail has been denied. She will front court again tomorrow for a filing hearing.
The Windross' mobile phone still has not been located and the parents have reasserted that no questions will be asked if it is returned to them.