New details are emerging about two young girls who were found dead in a Vancouver Island apartment on Christmas Day.
Police have said officers were called to a home in Oak Bay on Monday evening where the children’s bodies were discovered.
Officers also discovered an injured man, whose condition has not been disclosed, who was then transported to hospital.
WATCH: Police investigate Oak Bay deaths
A family friend has identified the children as six-year-old Chloe Berry and four-year-old Aubrey Berry.
“They had such pure hearts as kids typically do,” Trisha Lees, a friend and spokesperson for the family, said. “That really came through with them.”
Listen: Family friend Trisha Lees remembers Chloe and Aubrey Berry
Lees remembers the sisters as delightful young girls who loved the outdoors. She said she often spent time with the girls and their mother, Sarah Cotton, at local parks and beaches.
“They had a whirlwind of energy around them like many kids,” she said. “There was a swirl of blonde hair around those girls on the playground or on the beach.”
“The thing about those girls is that they really had Sarah’s spirit,” Lees said. “If you know Sarah she has a big smile and she has a big laugh. She really draws people to her. The little girls were the same.”
Lees said she has been by Cotton’s side since Christmas night.
A small but growing memorial has set up outside the apartment near the Oak Bay marina where the girls died.
Their father, 43-year-old Andrew Berry, remains in hospital with self-inflicted injuries.
Court documents show the mother and father were involved in a bitter custody dispute that included unpaid child support.
Lees said the mother called police on Christmas Day after their father didn’t return the girls as scheduled.
Officers made the horrifying discovery just after 5 p.m. on Christmas Day.
Police are treating the deaths as homicides and say they are not looking for additional suspects.
Multiple agencies are involved but none have provided new information on where the case goes from here.
A statement from Oak Bay mayor Nils Jensen extends the condolences of himself and Council, and says there will be a candlelight vigil on Saturday, Dec. 30 on Willows Beach.
— With files from Jordan Armstrong, Grace Ke and The Canadian Press