A candlelight vigil was held on Thursday night to honour and remember a 13-year-old girl who was killed in Edmonton last week.
The vigil was held in the area of 75 Street and Mount Lawn Road, where Sierra Bailey Rain Chalifoux Thompson was found with serious injuries last Friday. The girl was treated and taken to hospital by paramedics where she was pronounced dead.
On Friday, Edmonton police confirmed the teen died of a stab wound and her death was ruled a homicide.
People carried flowers and candles as they walked from a nearby hotel to where the young girl was found. More than 100 people showed up to pay their respect to Sierra.
“It was tough, but the amount of support that we got from the community is very heartwarming,” said Sierra’s mother, Angela Chalifoux, as she held onto a drawing of her daughter, which was gifted to her by someone at the vigil.
“It’s a difficult time. It’s really, really hard but just knowing that people care about her, she’d be very happy.”
Her father, Ryan Thompson, added:
“It’s heartwarming. People do care out there.”
Those in attendance wore purple and white ribbons with Seirra’s name on them in hopes justice will be served for the teen.
“Purple is her favourite colour, white is because she was so pure,” said the teen’s grandmother, Catherine Chalifoux.
“I feel grateful for all of the support. I didn’t expect this many people to come out — some I know, some I don’t — but it was a huge surprise. I’m sure she’s looking down on us, smiling. So happy.”
A female youth has been charged with second-degree murder in Sierra’s death. As per the Youth Criminal Justice Act, the accused cannot be named because she is underage.
Sierra’s family hopes to keep her memory alive and says gatherings like Thursday night provide some comfort.
“Comfort in a sense where yes, because they’re here supporting us but no because Sierra’s not here. She’s never going to come back and there’s nothing that will ever bring her back,” Catherine Chalifoux said.
“We will just be taking it one day at a time. There’s no cure for this it’s going to be a long healing road. This is just the start. The harder days are coming.”
Her mother said the loss will never get any easier.
“Love your family. You never know when they’re going to be taken from you, especially your children. Let them know they are loved, Sierra knew that she was loved. … And she always will be remembered.”
Police said they have received several tips from the public, but they are still asking witnesses or anyone with video from the scene to come forward. People with information on the assault or what might have led to it can contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.