Saskatchewan

Candlelight vigil held in Tisdale for Latasha Gosling and her 3 children

A candlelight vigil was held in Tisdale for the family that was slain a week ago in an apparent murder-suicide.

Hundreds gather to remember Latasha Gosling and 3 of her children

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      A an emotional candlelight vigil was held in Tisdale Wednesday night for the family that was slain a week ago in an apparent murder-suicide.

      Latasha Gosling, 27, and her three children Jenika, 8, Landen, 7, and Janayah, 4, were found dead in their mobile home April 22. The body of Steve O'Shaughnessy, the man believed to have killed them, was found later the same day by police in Prince Albert. 

      An unharmed six-month-old girl is being cared for by family.

      A candlelight vigil was held in Tisdale for Latasha Gosling, 27, and her three children (from left) Janayah, 4, Jenika, 8, and Landen, 7. (Submitted by Jessica Rae)

      The vigil, in the town square, was organized by family members and a local support agency for victims of domestic violence.

      "Tisdale is a small town and we are all connected," Al Jellicoe, the mayor of Tisdale told the people gathered. "The coming weeks and months will be difficult."

      "It will take time for Tisdale to heal and in time we will," he said, and offered support to the family.

      In addition to expressing their grief, many of the speakers spoke about the importance of acting on issues related to domestic violence.

      "Focus on prevention," Paster Roy Zimmerman said. "Blame and anger simply delay healing."

      Town has 'changed forever'

      Louise Schweitzer, executive director of the North East Outreach and Support Services, helped to organize the vigil.

      "Every individual in the community has been affected," Schweitzer said prior to the gathering. "It is a small, tight-knit community that is hurting."

      She said the town has been "changed forever" due to what happened.

      She said the vigil should help people move forward.

      "We have undertaken to begin a process for our community that has been affected very tragically," she said. "What we as individuals sometimes struggle in understanding is the far-reaching effects that a tragedy such as these have on our community and this allows people to come out and begin their healing process."

      Schweitzer also advises anyone who is having difficulty coping to seek help.

      "If you are struggling, reach out," she said. "There are many, many people and organizations that are there and that are willing to help you deal with the tragedy and the trauma and the emotions that you are feeling. You do not need to deal with these alone. Reach out."

      CBC's Madeline Kotzer has been tweeting from the vigil.

       

      With files from CBC's Madeline Kotzer

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