Karen Ristevski’s daughter broke down in court as she described her family’s “close” relationship, while standing just metres away from her father Borce – who has been accused of murdering her mother.
According to multiple reports, Sarah Ristevski became emotional as she described the close bond she shared with both her parents, before insisting her father was “very worried” when her mother first went missing in mid-2016.
Borce Ristevski, 54, is charged with murdering his 47-year-old wife on June 29, 2016 – an accusation he has repeatedly denied.
Karen, a fashion boutique owner, went missing from her Oakley Drive home in Avondale Heights, Melbourne, in June 2016, and her body was found by a member of the public in bushland in the Mount Macedon Regional Park on February 20, 2017. Her remains were found under a log in the park, but police have not publicly released her cause of death.
Her husband, who was the last person to see Karen alive, told police she left the home to clear her head, but after failing to return the next day, he reported her missing. Ristevski was charged with Karen’s murder in December 2017.
Their daughter spoke at her father’s pre-trial hearing at Melbourne Magistrates Court, claiming while her mother would often take time out on walks to clear her head, her father “was always the calm one”.
“I didn’t grow up in a household where there were major arguments,” she told the court.
Describing a ‘typical’ argument in her family, Sarah reportedly said it wouldn’t go beyond a minor disagreement over sweets, but said her mother was known to like her own space if she became stressed out, claiming: “She liked to be alone when she was upset.”
Despite the allegations against him, Sarah insisted her father was “very worried” when Karen first went missing.
“People that actually knew him and know him, knew he was distressed,” she said. “He was concerned about where my mum was.”
Sarah also hit out at the public scrutiny throughout the investigation into her mother’s death, claiming it didn’t allow her and her father any time to grieve.
Meanwhile, the court heard the couple had been having financial problems, and according to the Australian, prosecutor Matt Fisher then questioned Sarah over whether she was aware of them.
“I’m an only child and I was at home with my parents,” she reportedly said. “If they were talking about this, I would have heard it.”
The committal hearing continues.