Calgary vigil for Taliyah Marsman, Sara Baillie draws hundreds
'We can see from the size of the crowd here that love is always stronger than anger and pain and hurt'
A light rain may have captured the mood perfectly.
Hundreds came out on a dark evening in Calgary to honour the lives of a little girl and her mother.
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Sara Baillie was found dead in her northwest Calgary home Monday.
An Amber Alert was issued for her five-year-old daughter, Taliyah Marsman, but police found her body Thursday after an exhaustive search with dozens of Calgary police and Mounties.
Edward Downey is facing two counts of first-degree murder. He's scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.
The case shocked and horrified many in the Calgary community and beyond.
Timothy Chidlaw is still on shock.
"This is just such a horrible tragedy to occur. I can't understand how anybody could do such a horrible act, especially to a child," he said.
Thomas O'Toole said he felt it was necessary to attend.
"We are here to bring our support and our love and our affection to this hurting and grieving family and our hurting and grieving community. We hope that by our presence, we will help the healing process along," O'Toole said.
"We can see from the size of the crowd here that love is always stronger than anger and pain and hurt.
"We believe that we can love this family and this community at this time to better health."
Friend Donna Palmer said it was to say goodbye to the girl and her mother, for now.
"We are here to celebrate your life and the measure of its worth and every single life that you touched while you were here on earth. We wish to pay our last respects. That is why we are all here," Palmer said addressing the crowd.
"To thank you for your friendship and all of the memories that we hold dear. We will carry you in our spirits until we meet once again."
The family wrote of a beautiful bond between Taliyah and her mother in an obituary.
"They were inseparable and spent all their time together dancing, playing and laughing. Taliyah had just learned to ride a bike and was so proud to have completed Kindergarten," the statement reads.
"Both Sara and Taliyah were the light and the heart of their families; we cannot imagine how to go on."
Their funerals will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Centre Street Church at 3900 2nd Street NE. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, a donation can be made to the Missing Children Society of Canada.
Chidlaw added, the pain for many is still very raw.
"I think we just are really looking for answers. I don't know that we are going to find them but by coming together at least there is a show of some sort of emotional response to how horrible and heinous this crime is," he said, pausing.
"And hope that it never happens again in our community."
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- An earlier version of this story included quotes and a photo of a woman incorrectly identified as Jamie Shemanski. In fact her name is Donna Palmer. As well, a published obituary had asked that in lieu of flowers, a donation could be made to the Missing Children Society of Canada. The family later clarified they wanted donations to be made to the Missing Children Society of Canada.Jul 18, 2016 2:03 PM MT
With files from Andrew Brown