true crime

Body in blowhole: Mother of Mengmei 'Michelle' Leng pleads for justice over only child's death.

By Dom Vukovic

The mother of slain Chinese student Mengmei Leng is appealing for justice over her daughter’s death, after the 25-year-old’s body was recovered from waters off the New South Wales Central Coast nearly two weeks ago.

Mei Zhan said she was stricken with grief over the prospect of never seeing her daughter, also known as Michelle, again as she spoke through a translator during a media conference in Sydney.

“Even today I cannot accept the fact that she has left us and we are still in great suffering,” she said.

“[It] will never turn back to a time when Mengmei and I were living happily together.”

Ms Zahn arrived in Sydney from the Chinese city of Chengdu nearly a week after her daughter’sbody was found dumped at the Snapper Point blowhole at the Munmorrah National Park.

In the news conference, she recounted the intimate bond she shared with Ms Leng who was also her only child.

She said the death of her husband had brought them even closer together.

“You can never imagine how painful it is for me,” Ms Zahn added.

Derrek Barrett, 27, was charged with Ms Leng’s murder and is accused of stabbing her more than 30 times in what police described as “a very violent attack”.

Barrett is also married to the victim’s aunt and the couple were living with Ms Leng at the time of her death.

His lawyer Bill Whitby told a Sydney Court yesterday that his client would plead not guilty.

Choking back tears, Ms Zhan said she wanted justice over her daughter’s death.

“We request that criminals must be punished strictly by law,” she said.

“We sincerely thank the New South Wales Police.”

Ms Zhan also offered a heartfelt thank you to the tributes and help her family had received since Ms Leng’s death.

This post originally appeared on ABC News.

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