Hundreds attend funeral for slain Alberta boys
The bodies of Conner McConnell, 2½, and his 10-month-old brother Jayden were found by their father in their home in Millet, Alta., on Monday.
Police are not releasing how the boys died, but say the deaths are homicides. No charges have been laid.
Mourners passed Connor's red toy tractor as they walked in the front door of the Calvary Baptist Church in Wetaskiwin, Alta., for the memorial service.
Inside, photographs, depicting two happy and lively boys filled the foyer. More than 600 family, friends and strangers packed the chapel to pay tribute to the boys.
Their father, Curtis McConnell, 31, spoke publicly for the first time at the service, saying he was grateful for the brief time he shared with his sons.
McConnell held back tears when he spoke of his two sons. He said he loved to watch them play together and called them "perfect."
Town's residents in shock
"So many questions and no answers that will satisfy that will bring boys back to life, but in faith we put our trust in God who is bigger than death," Pastor Tim Wray told the crowd.
A teddy bear memorial has grown on the front lawn of the home where the boys lived and died.
Many in the town of Millet say they are in shock, unable to grasp why the young brothers were killed.
"It's overwhelming," said resident Ingred Dubyk.
"It's almost like nobody talks about it because it's too much to bear. It's been very, very hard on everybody."
On Friday, residents in Millet held a candlelight vigil in memory of the two boys.
Leann Melan, who went to the vigil with her children, said the deaths have upset many people in the community.
"Everyone feels sorry for the boys," she said. "It's not a good thing for someone to do something like that [to] two boys, two little ones. That's just sick for anybody to do it."
On a Facebook memorial page set up in memory of the two boys, McConnell said he has been left with "unanswerable questions."
He told a friend that he got a call from police saying his wife Allyson, 31, was in hospital shortly before he found his sons' bodies in a bathtub.
Court documents show the McConnells are going through a painful divorce, with custody of the children a major issue.
With files from The Canadian Press