‘He’s lost his life... I can’t believe this is happening’
THE grieving family of an East Lismore man who was killed after being punched in Ballina days before Christmas hopes "someone has a conscience out there".
Jesse Vilkelis-Curas, 24, was taken off life support at Gold Coast University Hospital on Boxing Day, five days after he was involved in an attack in Ballina.
Emergency services had attended Hill and Park Streets, East Ballina at 8pm on Sunday, December 23, where NSW Ambulance paramedics located Mr Vilkelis-Curas suffering 'catastrophic head injuries'.
Police are continuing their investigations into the attack, after speaking to several men immediately following the incident.
Flying in from Perth, Jesse's mother, Kristina Vilkelis-Curas, has no answer to the question no parent should have to ask - how did my child die?
"Jesse's not a fighter, he doesn't have enemies and is not an aggressive person at all," Ms Vilkelis-Curas said.
"I can't believe this is happening, I still believe he's going to come up to me somewhere.
"I don't want people to think it's some bogan in a pub brawling and he's lost his life. It's not like that at all.
"He was completely innocent."
Police believe Jesse and his brother had gotten into a disagreement over a spilt beer at a Ballina pub before they were later attacked near Missingham Bridge.
"There was just two of them and then a lot of other people came out of nowhere and it was all over a beer," Ms Vilkelis-Curas said.
"Neither of the two of them are the type of guys to start trouble.
"He's not that kind of person, he's not a brawler. This isn't his place, he doesn't usually hang out at pubs."
Grieving for her middle child, Ms Vilkelis-Curas said she doesn't know how anyone could just be so careless as to attack someone and leave them to die.
She said Jesse was always someone who would go the extra mile to help a friend.
"He is friends with everybody, and their parents and grandparents and their dogs," Ms Vilkelis-Curas said.
"He's touched so many people.
"He had this infectious smile and laugh and was so cheeky."
Jesse's family and the police are urging anyone with information to come forward as the investigations continue.
"There's probably people out there who know things who haven't given their information," Ms Vilkelis-Curas said.
"Or they might know the people because people don't stay quiet about these things. I hope someone has a conscience out there."
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.