The two young children of an Irish man murdered in the US earlier this month returned home to Ireland on Saturday morning to be placed in the care of family members. 

Jack(10) and Sarah Corbett (8) arrived at Shannon Airport after a near 40-hour journey from North Carolina. The children were due to arrive at Dublin Airport of Friday but missed a connecting flight due to bad weather. 

Their father,  39-year-old Jason Corbett was killed during a suspected domestic disturbance in his home in the town of Wallburg, North Carolina on August 3. Corbett suffered fatal head injuries and his second wife, 32-year-old Molly Martens, is still being questioned regarding his death.

The Limerick man moved to the US four years ago with Jack and Sarah after his first wife Mags Corbett died from an asthma attack in 2006.

Corbett had appointed his sister Tracey Lynch as guardian of the children, but after his death, the Department of Social Services (DSS) placed the children in the care of their stepmother — the lead suspect in the murder case.

After a bitter custody battle, Tracey and and her husband David Lynch were given custody of the children.

The children’s aunt said she was relived to finally have them home.

“We are just delighted to be home with the kids, to bring them back to Ireland, and we would just like some peace so we can bury Jason,” Ms Lynch told reporters.

“We don’t have any more comment, we just want a bit of space,” she added.

The Irish Times reports that the children’s paternal grandmother, Rita Corbett, 74, was among the group of family members who met the children in a private area of the airport after they landed.

“I am delighted to have them home,” she said afterwards.

The children’s stepmother has lodged an appeal for custody, the Irish Times reports.Marten, who worked as the children’s au pair before marrying their father, has been named as person of interest in the murder. Her father Thomas Martens, a retired FBI agent, has also been questioned. So far, no arrests have been made.