TORONTO — Hundreds of classmates, friends and relatives gathered on Saturday to mourn the deaths of a mother and her two children in Ajax, Ont. earlier this month.
Krassimira Pejcinovski and her 15-year-old son Roy, a lauded minor league hockey goalie, were found dead in their home on March 14th. Her 13-year-old daughter Venallia died hours later in hospital.
Police have charged Cory Fenn, who was in a relationship with Krassimira Pejcinovski, with second-degree murder in the deaths. Autopsy results showed that two of the victims were stabbed and the other strangled to death.
An emotional service at a Greek church in Toronto Saturday was filled with teenage classmates of the two children, as well as with Roy's hockey teammates who attended in their jerseys.
Krassimira Pejcinovski's former spouse, Vas Pejcinovski, and their only surviving daughter also attended the event.
Vas Pejcinovski expressed gratitude earlier this week about the support he had received from the community.
"There are no words to explain how we feel. Our hearts are broken," Vas Pejcinovski said Thursday. "I put my faith in God to give us comfort and guide us through this long journey toward healing."
Reese Dougall, a good friend of the two younger teens, said that he was trying to design purple and pink wristbands to raise awareness about domestic violence at their school in Ajax.
He attended the funeral with his mother and 14-year-old sister, who plays rugby with the surviving Pejcinovski girl.
"I was in shock for the first couple of days. It was crazy," said Dougall, who added that school was oddly calm and normal the day after the tragic event.
"It's so insane how something can happen so close to you."
The boy's mother, Shannon Dougall, said she thought her son's idea to make wristbands was a good way for him to cope with the tragedy while trying to make an impact.
"No kid should have to experience the loss of a friend," she said. "It's difficult to figure out what you should say to your children. You let them know that you love them and that you're there for them, and that they're the biggest parts of our lives."
Fillis Paraskevopoulos, a longtime friend of Vas Pejcinovski who grew up in the same neighbourhood, said the two surviving family members will need all the strength and support they can get from the community.
"All of this happening, we're lost for words. There wasn't a dry eye in there," said Paraskevopoulos.
"I was stunned, it brought me to tears. It's tragic and too close to home."
Meanwhile, Vas Pejcinovski has set up a fund to honour the lives of his former spouse and two children and celebrate their "qualities of compassion, kindness and charity."
It was not immediately clear where the funds will go — something the father and daughter said they would determine.