Belleville honours Jessica Lloyd

Hundreds of people filed into a Belleville, Ont., funeral home Saturday afternoon to honour Jessica Lloyd, 27, whose body was found on a rural road on Monday.
Laura Molino, second from left, stands with a group holding a poster outside the Belleville, Ont., funeral service for Jessica Lloyd, 27. ((Jocelyn Elsdon/CBC))

Hundreds of people filled a Belleville, Ont., funeral home Saturday afternoon as the community came together to honour Jessica Lloyd, the 27-year-old woman whose body was found on a rural road on Monday.

Before the service began, several members of the Canadian Forces entered the funeral home in uniform and wearing black armbands.

Small groups of people clustered outside the funeral home during the service, with one group of young women carrying a sign that said: "Rest in peace sweet angel."

Col. Russell Williams is facing first-degree murder charges in the death of Jessica Lloyd, 27, of Belleville, Ont.

On Friday, long lines of people had waited patiently outside the funeral home to attend the visitation for Lloyd, one of the alleged victims of Col. Russell Williams, the former commander of CFB Trenton.

Lloyd's cousin and brother both spoke at the service Saturday, and her brother paused to thank local law enforcement officials for their work on the case.

Lloyd's body was found near Tweed, a small town north of Belleville. She was reported missing Jan. 29 when she didn't show up for work at a transportation company in nearby Napanee. Police organized a massive search, and more than 45,000 people joined a Facebook group dedicated to finding Lloyd.

Shannon Coolican, a Belleville resident, came to the funeral home Saturday to pay his respects to Lloyd's family — even though he had never met them.

If you knew Russell Williams — or maybe you knew him as Russ Sovka — tell us your story

"We're just here to support the Lloyd family," he said.

"With a lot of military people from Belleville working in Trenton, it obviously has hit home for a lot of people."

Williams, 46, is in custody and has been charged with first-degree murder in Lloyd's death. He is also charged with first-degree murder in the death last November of Cpl. Marie-France Comeau, who served at Trenton, and with two sexual assaults in Tweed last September.

On Friday, the Canadian military named Lt.-Col. Dave Cochrane the new commander of CFB Trenton.