Scammer blackmailed grieving parents over baby photos

A mobile phone containing irreplaceable family pictures of baby Amiyah was stolen. Picture: Facebook
A mobile phone containing irreplaceable family pictures of baby Amiyah was stolen. Picture: Facebook

AS a couple’s baby girl died in their arms, a heartless scammer saw an opportunity to make some quick cash.

Jay and Dee Windross’ 11-month-old daughter Amiyah died in April, days after a mobile phone containing irreplaceable family pictures was stolen from a suburban shopping centre.

Siti Nurhidayah Kamal pleaded guilty on Monday to blackmailing the couple in the hours before and after little Amiyah’s death from an undiagnosed neurological condition.

The couple made a public appeal through social media for the phone to be returned.

Mother Dee Windross with baby Amiyah.

In WhatsApp messages 25-year-old Kamal got in touch claiming to have found it. But she told the desperate parents she’d only return it if they paid her $1000.

“Please transfer me money I will return u the phone, or maybe I just sell it,” Kamal wrote, knowing the young girl had only a short time to live.

“You may help me today, God may help you.”

She sent them her full name and bank account details – it led police straight to her once it became clear she wasn’t being honest.

“Please I’m begging you, I don’t want to erase all of you memory, I promise you I am honest person,” Kamal wrote in a message to the couple just 20 minutes after Amiyah died.

She persisted the following day, giving the grieving couple the run-around as they tried to arrange a point to exchange the phone and money.

Despite claims early in the conversation that Kamal was apologetic for not returning the phone earlier, it eventually became clear Kamal was not being truthful.

A Malaysian national, Kamal had been living in Springvale with her husband and was working as an food deliver rider.

She has two children who remained with family in Malaysia.

Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt ordered Kamal remain in custody until a pre-sentence hearing in Melbourne on October 31.

Despite a widespread appeal for help, Ms Windross’ phone has not been returned.