"No words can ever relate the horror and the gut-wrenching loss that smashes into your soul."
These are the words of a mother whose daughter was found dead and burnt by the side of a road 300 kilometres from her home in February, 2019.
It is alleged 32-year-old Ballarat woman Tamara Farrell's body was disposed of by two people her family trusted most.
Tamara's mother, Nellie Farrell, read her victim impact statement at the Supreme Court in Melbourne on Monday during Kieahn Kotiau's plea hearing.
Kotiau pleaded guilty to concealing the body of Tamara Farrell in her vehicle, assisting in the disposal of her body and assisting in hiding evidentiary items.
"The pain is indescribable," Ms Farrell said while reading her victim impact statement to the court.
"My mind couldn't accept, and it still struggles daily to accept that Tamara was killed."
Ms Farrell said her daughters's last hours with people she knew and trusted for years made the situation of her final discovery the more bewildering and terrible.
"I met her (Kieahn Kotiau's) mother when I was in grade five and we've been friends ever since and I watched that boy (Shaye Kotiau) and his sister grow. We were a family. If they weren't at my place my kids were at their place. They grew up doing everything together and I never dreamt that either of those kids would harm a single hair on any of my children because they were close.
"How do I start telling you the unending grief that comes in waves and makes me feel like I can't breathe?"
Ms Farrell said she received a call at 4pm on Tuesday, February 19 from police who said they had located a body on the side of the road believed to be her daughter. Tamara was reported missing on Monday, February 18, when her employer from Ballarat Coachlines visited her Ballarat home, concerned after she did not turn up for work.
"Every day I wake up and for a few precious seconds my world is whole, and I feel good and I look out my bedroom window at the garden and the birds and everything is normal and then my mind follows my body and wakes up and everything shatters," Ms Farrell told the court.
"Those few seconds between sleep and waking are over and the waking nightmare reasserts itself with force. My daughter is gone. I see her in my mind at different stages of her life remembering her, who she is, the strength of her character. Tell me how I'm supposed to live my life without her?
"The grief I feel is so completely overwhelming it's like a living, breathing entity that likes playing hide and seek. I feel automated. I go through each day forcing myself to eat, to drink, to speak, to interact with others and, I'm amazed and shocked that the sun came up and that life just keeps going on."
Ms Farrell said she stopped working a few months ago because she felt she could no longer focus on her job. The court heard Ms Farrell's father, Tamara's grandfather, died five weeks after hearing of Tamara's death.
"Tamara was beautiful both inside and out. Her light shone so bright," Ms Farrell said.
"Tamara was an independent girl with an adventurous soul. She was a strong young woman who stood firmly by what she believed in and she wasn't afraid to speak her mind and lived her life her way.
"Tamara was very much an outdoors kind of girl and she loved camping and travelling and meeting people from all walks of life. She loved her job as a coach driver for Ballarat Coachlines.
"She got to travel to different places and meet all sorts of people and she loved it. She had so many plans and places she wanted to see and so much of life just waiting for her to experience."
Ms Farrell said Tamara's death had caused her three other children, Tamara's siblings, to suffer anxiety and nightmares and become short-tempered.
"Anger, rage, frustration, broken sleep, soul-deep pain has become the norm," she told the court.
"I've shed oceans of tears and I don't smile as often as I did. Smiling hurts. Everything hurts. Breathing hurts.
"I'll never get over my daughter's loss. Losing Tamara affects me in so many ways: as a woman, as a mother, as a human being. It affects me spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally.
"I just don't recognise who I am now. My understanding of life has changed. My world has been turned upside down... Nothing, nothing will ever be the same."
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