WATCH: The Lasalle community is banding together to collect goods for the two children of slain mother Samantha Higgins. Global’s Sarah Volstad reports.
MONTREAL – The Lasalle community is banding together to collect goods for the children of murdered mother Samantha Higgins.
The 22-year-old mother was found dismembered under a bridge in Hinchinbrooke, Quebec.
Higgins’ fiancé, Nick Fontanelli, 22, was charged with first-degree murder and committing an indignity to a dead body.
The couple had two children, Anna, who turned four on July 15, and an infant boy, Lorenzo.
Crown prosecutors would not say what is going to happen to them.
Taking matters into their own hands, Cherie Chalmers, a family friend, sent out a message on Facebook asking people to “donate anything such as diapers/clothing/toys” to the McDonald’s at 8300 Newman boulevard in Lasalle.
“People are asking where to drop off donations,” said Laurie McKernan, who identifies as Higgin’s aunt.
She is also one of the organizers of the collection effort.
“They want to buy birthday presents; they want to buy formula, diapers. And so we figured that McDonald’s was probably the best place and they agreed to pick up all donations.”
McDonald’s was the last place Higgin’s phone pinged before she disappeared on last Tuesday, July 7.
“Nothing can give them back what they’ve lost,” said Sandra Vieira, the manager of the Lasalle McDonald’s.
Vieira said many of her employees knew the young couple and are still coming to terms with what happened.
READ MORE: Community remembers murdered Lasalle mother
Anyone who wishes to help can bring the following:
– Size 5 diapers
– Size 6 months clothing for boys
– Size 4/5 years clothing for girls
– Formula (or coupons) of Similac lactose sensitive (yellow can)
Higgins’ friends and family have also set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the children.
“I would like to thank everybody for their generosity and for showing that there are actually really good people in this world,” said McKernan.
She couldn’t tell Global News exactly where the children are right now, but assured us they’re in good hands.
“When the police had done the investigation or when the news came out, I would suspect that at that point in time, the appropriate calls were made to the Director of Youth Protection for them to start opening a file,” explained family lawyer Amir Kafshdaran.
As for the children’s future, he said it could be a long and complicated process.
The kids could ultimately end up in foster care or with a family member, perhaps even with their father if he is found not guilty.
The funeral for Higgins will take place Saturday, July 18 at 2630 Notre-Dame street Ouest.