The family of a Limerick man murdered in North Carolina last week are desperately trying to get custody of his children. They are calling on the Irish government to intervene as the children have been placed in the custody of the lead suspect in the murder case, their step-mother.

Jason Corbett (39) suffered fatal head injuries in a domestic incident in his home in North Carolina. His body was found on Sunday morning. His wife Molly Martens Corbett is the main suspect in his death. Their two children – Jack (10) and Sarah (8) – have been placed in their stepmother's care by the Department of Social Services (DSS).

The Davidson County Sheriff's office is investigating the incident, but say they are not looking for anyone outside the house in connection with his death.

Corbett’s family have vowed not to hold a funeral until the children are reunited with their family.

Corbett’s sister, Tracey Lynch and her husband David, have told the authorities that according to Jason’s will the children should be placed in their custody. They have flown to the United States with friends and family to bring the children home to Ireland.

The mother of Corbett’s children, Mags, died in 2006 after suffering an asthma attack. Their daughter Sarah was just 12 weeks old at the time. Corbett and his children moved to the United States four years ago after he met Molly Martens.

David Lynch said he has already spent tens of thousands in legal fees to have the children reunited with the family but admitted this is not enough.

“We are after throwing tens of thousands of euros at this on attorneys this week and attorneys are not going to sort this out, the politicians are going to sort this out with us," he told the Irish Independent.

Sister of killed Jason Corbett asks for assistance to rescue youngsters from US:

— Irish Sun (@IrishSunOnline) August 10, 2015
"It shouldn't need anyone to intervene. These children are here illegally now. They should be handed over to us,” he added.

"Before Tracey boarded a flight in Ireland, she was told by the Department of Social Services here that they were going to go to the house, take the kids and give them to Tracey.”

"When she arrived in New York they rang Tracey and told her that they were going to give them to Molly," he added.

"When Tracey asked how can she see them they basically told her that there is nothing that they can do.

"We have not seen or spoke to the children. Tracey spoke to one of them for about 10 seconds when we were in the car before we left."

The family have called on the Irish Government to intervene in the case.

The family have also set up a fundraising bank account under the following details: TSB Dooradoyle, Limerick, Account No: 1124 0513, IBAN: IE15IPBS99075111240513, Sort Code: 99-07-51, BIC: IPBSIE2D.

A fundraising appeal will be launched for the family of Jason Corbett who died tragically in the US just days ago.

— I Love Limerick (@ilovelimerick) August 7, 2015