Blesilda "Blessie" Gotingco's family is trying to pretend everything is OK but deep inside they are heartbroken, the slain Auckland woman's husband says.
Antonio Gotingco spoke at a press conference this afternoon at the North Shore policing centre, two days after his wife's body was found in a cemetery.
A 27-year-old man has appeared in court charged with Blessie Gotingco's murder.
Antonio Gotingco said her killing was an "unnecessary crime".
He could not describe how awful the past few days had been and the family was taking it one step at a time, he said.
"We are just trying to pretend everything is OK but deep inside we are brokenhearted.
"We have been robbed. I think she is gone too soon."
Antonio Gotingco was supported by the couple's three children, Vincent, Bea and John.
His wife had been loving, God-fearing and generous, he said.
"She is a very good wife, mother and grandmother. A good sister, good friend and so much more that I can't even begin to describe. She is the light of our home."
John Gotingco said what happened to his mother was a "national tragedy", but there had been an outpouring of support.
The family decided to speak out to thank its friends, family and strangers for their help.
"We would like to thank our countrymen for their support, sympathies and kind words," Antonio Gotingco said.
The Gotingcos also thanked police and the media for finding Blessie Gotingco so quickly.
After she is cremated her ashes will be taken to the family's church, St Mary's Catholic Church in Northcote.
Antonio Gotingco said anyone was welcome to pay their respects and the family would hold a public funeral.
"Blessie is coming home now and we will cope in the best way we can."