Launceston mother's pain still raw five years after daughter Jessica Kupsch was murdered

HEARTACHE: Donna Kupsch will hold a memorial service for her daughter Jessica on Wednesday, five years after she was brutally murdered.
HEARTACHE: Donna Kupsch will hold a memorial service for her daughter Jessica on Wednesday, five years after she was brutally murdered.

Donna Kupsch will “never forget” the day her daughter was brutally murdered.

Jessica Kupsch was 29 when she was bashed and killed by her boyfriend at a Launceston hotel on August 9, 2012 – there was a family violence order in place at the time of her death.

Five years on and her mother said the pain was still raw.

“It’s something that will never leave you, it’s just one of those things as a mother … it will never leave your mind,” she said.

Each year the family celebrates Jessica’s life both on her birthday and the anniversary of her tragic death.

They spend every other day of the year thinking about her though, Mrs Kupsch said.

“We talk about her all the time,” she said.

“Her birthday is in February and we spend it eating all of her favourite foods.

“The kids still struggle, but it’s not as bad as it has been and I just try to keep myself busy at this time of year.”

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Mrs Kupsch said Jessica lived on through her children.

“Her son Kacey is very much like his mother, he has her dimples, her cheeky looks,” she said.

Kacey was the only child of Jessica and her killer.

He was just four months old when his mother died.

“He is five now and he still says ‘I miss my mummy’,” Mrs Kupsch said.

Jessica had three other children, Jack, Alex and Grace.

“Her daughter Grace is the spitting image of her … it’s a bit hard because sometimes I go to call her ‘Jessica’ and she just looks at me and laughs,” Mrs Kupsch said.

All four children have been living with Mrs Kupsch since 2012.

On Wednesday a memorial service will be held in Jessica’s honour, marking the fifth anniversary of her death.

Mrs Kupsch said her and the children would have their own private memorial, but wanted to invite the public to join them at Rocherlea to formally remember a “funny” and “loving” girl.

“We will have sparklers and everything shiny, Jessica liked the ‘bling-bling’, she was a bit of a magpie, she always had shiny earrings and a little tiara,” Mrs Kupsch said.

The memorial service will also carry a powerful message about domestic violence – a message Mrs Kupsch has been sharing since her daughter’s murder.

“I’m still trying to raise awareness every single day,” she said.

Jessica’s partner and killer was Matthew Tunks.

He was sentenced to 23 years’ jail for her murder.

Wednesday’s memorial service will be held at the Northern Suburbs Community Centre at Rocherlea from 12.30pm.

The family invites anyone wishing to remember Jessica to attend and enjoy a light lunch.