The devastated family members of a Cape Breton woman whose body was found stuffed into a hockey bag on the Mira River are appealing for her killer to come forward.

The body of Laura Jessome — of Little Bras d'Or, N.S. — was recovered from the river Friday evening. The 21-year-old woman's death is being treated as a homicide.

"She was a beautiful little girl. She was loved by so many and by her family," said Edna Jessome, Laura's mother.

"I just want to know whoever did this. I just want them caught. Somebody must know something. My little girl is gone now and I can't get her back. I want them caught."

Jessome said her daughter had been battling a drug addiction for several years, but that's not how her family remembers her.

"She was kind-hearted, she loved everybody, she didn't judge people, she loved animals," Jessome told CBC News on Wednesday.

"She loved looking at the stars and explaining what each one was. She was a precious little thing."

According to court documents obtained by CBC News, Laura Jessome had suffered violence in her life.

She was the victim of an assault in 2010 and had a restraining order against her male assailant. The same man was found guilty of assaulting Jessome's father and threatening her father and sister.

In December, the man forcibly confined Jessome and was found guilty of violating a court order to stay away from her. He was sentenced on April 13 to serve five months and 17 days in jail.

Cape Breton Regional Police have not said how Jessome died or how long her body had been in the river.

mi-ns-edna-jessome

Edna Jessome, Laura Jessome's mother, says she believes someone has information that could help the police investigation. (CBC)

Jamie Jessome, Laura's older sister, said she'd lost her best friend.

"I don't even know if I'm angry, I think it's sick," she told CBC News.

"Whoever you are, put yourself in some people's shoes. People can't live through this. I love you Laura, with all my heart and I hope that God takes good care of you."

Visitation for Jessome is Wednesday evening and her funeral will be held on Thursday.

Edna Jessome said her family believes somebody has information that could crack the police investigation.

"That's our baby girl we're going to miss her for the rest of our lives. Somebody, please, come forward and help," she said.

"She didn't deserve this."