A woman killed in Opotiki last month was eight months pregnant at the time and had just lost her partner and father of her unborn baby in a tragic drowning accident.

A close friend of Alicia Crawford, who asked to not be named, said the mum-to-be had lost her partner, Peter Collier, on December 16 after he and a friend got into difficulty while out gathering kaimoana.

Name suppression lifted this morning for the man charged with Crawford's murder.

Hosea Gerard-Collier, 27, appeared in the High Court at Tauranga today via audio-visual link and did not enter a plea to a charge of murder.


The Whakatane Beacon reported Gerard-Collier is the son of Crawford's late partner, Peter Collier, who drowned near Opape late last year.

Crawford was found dead in Opotiki on February 19.

Her friend said Crawford was trying to come to terms with Collier's death when she was killed.

"She was devastated," the friend said.

"The pair were planning to get married and were excited about the birth of their first child together."

Following Collier's death, Crawford would go and visit him at the cemetery every evening at 7pm and tell him about her day.

"They were both looking forward to the birth and being parents again," the friend said.

"We talked about baby names, she had decided on Petra-Anahera Collier, a play on Peter being her angel.

"Petra was her reason to live and be the best mum she could be."

Originally from Opotiki, Crawford had moved away some years ago and married a man from New Plymouth. The pair have a daughter.

She moved back to the Eastern Bay settlement after the breakdown of her marriage, and cared for her ailing father who has a degenerative condition.

Crawford had only recently placed her father in care as her pregnancy progressed and his condition worsened.

The friend described Crawford as a beautiful person who always went out of her way to help others.

"She was one of the most caring people you would ever be likely to meet. She touched a lot of hearts, those of us who knew her are gutted, absolutely gutted, and also very angry."

In the days following the alleged murder, a prayer evening had been held for her friends who were struggling with the loss.

"Alicia had started to learn different Maori arts and was enjoying it very much.

"Her death has left a huge hole in the many hearts she touched. We still pray weekly for our town."