CALGARY — The family of a mother and her five-year-old daughter slain last week says it is overwhelmed with the support it has received from Calgary and beyond.
Speaking before the funeral service for Sara Baillie and Taliyah Marsman on Thursday, Baillie's mother said hundreds, if not thousands, of supportive strangers have taught the family how to be strong.
"We are, of course, overcome with grief by the unnecessary loss of two beautiful members of our family,'' Janet Fredette read from a family statement.
Flowers and teddy bears are arranged at the memorial service for Sara Baillie and Taliyah Marsman. (Photo: Jeff McIntosh/CP)
"Despite our grief we are also overwhelmed by the strength that this community has given us.
The Calgary Police Service, our friends and hundreds, if not thousands, of unknown community members have shown us how to be strong.
"Thank you for your support Calgary, Alberta and Canada.''
Janet Fredette, centre, mother of Sara Baillie, makes a statement to the media before the memorial service for Sara Baillie and her daughter Taliyah Marsman in Calgary, Alta. (Photo: Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Baillie, 34, was found dead in her northwest Calgary home on July 11, but Taliyah was missing and an Amber Alert was issued.
The little girl's body was found days later in a rural area east of the city.
A Calgary man, Edward Downey, faces two counts of first-degree murder.
Police have said he knew both Baillie and Taliyah, but it's not clear how.
Sara Baillie and Taliyah Marsman were inseparable, according to an obituary. (Photo: Calgary Police Service, Facebook)
An obituary said mother and daughter were inseparable and described Baillie as a dedicated mother who had an unflinching love for her daughter.
It said Taliyah, who recently finished kindergarten and had just learned to ride a bike, was a funny girl who never left home without her sparkly purse filled with lotions and lipsticks.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to the Missing Children's Society of Canada.
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