Police in Edson are looking for a killer after a 14-year-old girl was found dead in the northwest part of the town early Saturday evening.
Emily Stauffer was attacked by a man around 4:30 p.m MT as she walked along a pathway in the area of Willshire Estates and Old Tiffin, between 17th and 18th Avenues, an RCMP news release said. The path borders residential properties and is lined by trees.
Two youths came upon the attack and ran to a nearby house to call 911.
Attempts to revive the girl at the scene were not successful. She was taken to a hospital in Edson where she was pronounced dead.
The girl's father, Terry Stauffer, is the pastor at Edson Baptist Church. He and his wife Juanita have three other children.
On his blog site, Terry Stauffer asked readers on Sunday to pray for his daughter and his family.
The Stauffer family also issued a statement to the media asking for privacy during their time of mourning.
"The family of Emily Stauffer wish to thank the public for their sympathy and concern. We are mourning the death of our daughter, but we are comforted by knowing she is with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Our daughter was a vibrant young woman who loved Jesus and her life," the statement read.
The cause of death has not been determined.
The suspect is described as a white male, about 30 years old, with brown hair. He was wearing a blue jacket and blue jeans.
Police are asking anyone who may have seen the suspect in the area to contact Edson RCMP or Crime Stoppers.
Edson, which has a population of about 8,000, is approximately 200 kilometres west of Edmonton.