The father of two boys allegedly held down in the Murray River by their mother has been slammed for crowdsourcing money to be with his son.
A 27-year-old woman remains in custody charged with attempted murder of her nine-year-old son after allegedly trying to drown him near Moama on Thursday.
His five-year-old brother’s body was recovered from the river on Saturday.
The nine-year-old remains in hospital in after he was taken to hospital in a serious condition, also suffering from injuries sustained during a dog attack.
The man, who says he is the father of both boys and cannot be named for legal reasons, started a fundraising page on GoFundMe on Friday with a goal of $5000.
He explained that he lived in Queensland and was “not in a situation where I can afford” to travel to Melbourne where the nine-year-old is being treated.
“All funds raised will go toward getting me to my older son with all remaining funds going toward burying my little boy,” he wrote.
Listen: Similar tragedies of children killed stops us in our tracks.
However, visitors to the site have slammed the man for his fundraising efforts, citing a recent interview the man gave to the Herald Sun, during which he said hadn’t seen his eldest son in six years and had never met the youngest.
“What hurts most is I’ve never met (the youngest). Now I’ll never meet him,” the father said.
Commenters questioned why the goal was so much higher than the average cost of a domestic flight between Brisbane and Melbourne.
“I’m confused as to why you’re wanting to see them now after so many years? You said yourself in a news article that you have not even met your son but you’re now asking for money to get down there!” a commenter wrote.
"You're a disgrace! And why so much money? It's clear that you haven't bothered with them in the past.... shame on you!"
Others labelled the man "despicable" and accused him of "rorting a tragedy".
"I honestly hope that I am wrong and that you are not using a little boy's death to line your pockets," another wrote.
"After reading full story you disgust me (you) never cared for these boys. You're a stranger they don't know you and you dare ask for money," commented another.
A woman claiming to be the man's mother and the boys' grandmother defended her son, saying she was "disgusted" by the "nasty" comments.
Donations have so far totalled more than $1000, with those making pledges voicing their support for the man.
"I'm so sorry for you and your family for the loss you are going through. My heartfelt prayers are with you all," one comment read.