The scene where the Toowoomba woman was found dead. Picture: David Martinelli
The scene where the Toowoomba woman was found dead. Picture: David Martinelli

Mum died in daughter’s arms after attack

FRIENDS and family of the Toowoomba woman stabbed in an allegedly violent attack on the weekend have told news.com.au she died in the arms of her 20-year-old daughter.

Debbie Combarngo, 37, died on Sunday afternoon after police allege nine people entered her public housing unit in Wilsonton and attacked her with a knife in broad daylight.

She was rushed to Toowoomba Base Hospital with a number of stab wounds to the chest but was later pronounced dead.

Speaking to news.com.au, one of Ms Combarngo's nieces said the Queensland woman's death meant her "shattered" children, including the 20-year-old daughter who held her, will now grow up without a mum.

"She is going through a real rough patch right now," Ms Combarngo's niece said.

According to a number of friends and family, the 20-year-old held her mum after the alleged attack as she lay dying in the Wilsonton apartment.

Steph, a friend of the 20-year-old daughter, told news.com.au the mourning girl went live on Facebook a few hours after the incident happened.

"She was a mess. She was covered in a hospital blanket and just bawled her eyes out," Steph said.

"Her other sister only turned 18 last week so I guess they'd both be extremely upset," she added.

The 20-year-old also has two daughters herself.

A close friend of Ms Combarngo, who only wanted to go by Jodie, said her friend was a "beautiful woman".

"It's very tragic, I'm still trying to get my head around it all," she said.

"Debbie was a beautiful woman. It's such a big shock and she will be missed by a lot of people. She didn't deserve to die - she was taken way too young. Condolences to all her family, may her soul rest in peace," she said.

Police are combing the apartment for clues. Picture: David Martinelli
Police are combing the apartment for clues. Picture: David Martinelli

 

Officers arrested the group at a nearby fast food restaurant.
Officers arrested the group at a nearby fast food restaurant.

 

One of Ms Combarngo's nieces, Bryar Combarngo, lashed out in a Facebook status after it was revealed the victim allegedly knew her attackers.

"I'm f***ing shattered, yous [sic] are f***ing pathetic," she wrote.

A neighbour of Ms Combarngo from the McGregor St unit sobbed on camera when she spoke about her death.

"I'm getting a bit emotional. They were always friendly to me, saying hello and that," neighbour Raymonde Kemp told 9 News.

Raymonde Kemp mourns the loss of her neighbour. Picture: Talsa Eley
Raymonde Kemp mourns the loss of her neighbour. Picture: Talsa Eley

Ms Combarngo was related to some of the accused group of nine, news.com.au understands, as police, firefighters and SES continue to painstakingly search the suburb for evidence.

The Courier-Mail reported that detectives are probing whether Ms Combarngo's stabbing was a revenge attack, after Mikey Hall, who is related to the defendants, was found dead on April 21.

Police told news.com.au the incident was still under investigation and would not comment further about the case until a post-mortem was completed later today.

The group of nine people did not appear in Toowoomba Magistrates Court yesterday morning but have been charged over the alleged stabbing death.

They are expected to appear in court later today.

A number of the accused nine are from one of two families and are aged between 23 and 34.

Those charged include Shiralee Fernando, Ashley Aaron Fing, Rhianna Jade Fing, Ty Peter Fing, Christine Maree Hall, Jana Leigh Hall, Rhonda Ann Hall and Joshua James Lingwoodock.

Shiralee Fernando.
Shiralee Fernando.

 

Rhianna Fing.
Rhianna Fing.

 

Joshua Lingwoodock.
Joshua Lingwoodock.

They have each been charged with two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm and one count of entering a dwelling with intent.

Ms Combarngo's post-mortem is expected to be complete today.

Shortly after the alleged stabbing, the group of nine were arrested by police in a maxi taxi in a nearby Hungry Jacks carpark.

All were handcuffed and taken to Toowoomba Watchhouse where they have spent the past two nights.

 

The group was arrested at Hungry Jacks.
The group was arrested at Hungry Jacks.

 

They had tried to escape in a maxi taxi.
They had tried to escape in a maxi taxi.

 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service lawyer Kevin Rose yesterday told the ABC he was representing five of the nine charged and addressed the possibility of further charges being laid.

"I haven't been told that, but given that there is one deceased person there is the possibility - that's what I understand the police are saying," Mr Rose told the publication.

Police said the following people have each been charged:

• A 32-year-old man from Wilsonton Heights

• A 28-year-old woman from Newtown, Toowoomba

• A 29-year-old woman from South Toowoomba

• A 25-year-old man from Wilsonton Heights

• A 34-year-old woman from Harlaxton

• A 29-year-old woman from Roma

• A 29-year-old woman from Kearneys Springs

• A 23-year-old man from Toowoomba

• A 25-year-old woman from Stuart

The victim's family has been notified.


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