The daughter of murdered mum Victoria Foster is thought to have slept through the tragedy unaware of what was unfolding in their Westshore home last week.
Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Foster, of Hawke's Bay CIB, said that when police went to the scene on The Esplanade on the night of Labour Day, they found just the mother and daughter Madison.
Alerted by family of the woman who were concerned for her welfare, police found Miss Foster, 24, dead in her unit. The 5-year-old was asleep, Mr Foster said.
Asked whether the child would have seen the events which led to her mother's death, Mr Foster said: "We don't know ... but I hope not."
Miss Foster's friend Sarah Paroli said the family understood also that Mady had not seen or heard the events on the night of October 16, although she was slowly coming to understand that she had lost her mother.
"She's doing the best she can do in the circumstances," Ms Paroli said, adding the child was being looked after by "some very good family members".
It was thought Mady would be looked after in the longer-term by her grandmother.
Ms Paroli said the family, who held a funeral in Havelock North on Monday, were grateful for the support and concern shown by friends and the public, including those contributing to a givealittle fund online, entitled Keep Victoria's goal alive.
"She worked so hard to provide the best life she could for her and her daughter and all of her dreams were finally coming true, her hard work was paying off," says page-founder Renee-lee Hunt.
The fund is to support the young girl, and last night it stood at $11,037.
Police have not said how Miss Foster died, but her death was followed by a vehicle pursuit after police saw the suspect in a car near the racecourse in Hastings, about 9.45pm.
The driver would not stop and road spikes were used in Hastings, after which the vehicle was estimated to have been driven more than 10km with at least one flat tyre, before road spikes were used again at Clive.
The pursuit ended when the vehicle stopped on State Highway 2, near the intersection with Mill Rd in Clive. The suspect, alleged to have fired at least three shots from a shotgun during the pursuit, was himself shot in a standoff with police about 11.10pm.
The man, 28, was rushed to Hawke's Bay Hospital where he was later charged with murder, and remanded in custody to appear in Hastings District Court on November 16.
He remains under prison-officer guard in the hospital and Mr Foster was unsure whether he would be discharged by the scheduled court appearance. Whatever the case, he would remain in custody pending the court appearance.
Police have been seeking information on the movements of a dark-red 1996 Toyota Corolla and the man between 8.30pm and 11.10pm on Labour Day. However, Mr Foster has said police believed they were aware of what happened during the night, apart from some gaps in the suspect's movements in the short time before the start of the pursuit.