Family, friends mourn three slain Quebec siblings
Published Saturday, December 8, 2012 8:54AM EST
Last Updated Sunday, December 9, 2012 12:06AM EST
Mourners gathered in a Quebec church Saturday to mourn three young siblings who were found dead in a Drummondville home last weekend.
Close to 1,000 people filled St. André D’Acton Vale Church to pay their respects to Lorelie, 5, Loic, 4, and Anais, 2.
To honour the young children, balloons were released into the sky and their father’s tractor was parked in front of the church filled with stuffed animals.
The children’s father, Patrick Desautels, carried a photograph of his children into and out of the church. A single urn carried the remains of all three children.
The children’s mother, Sonia Blanchette, was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths earlier in the week.
Her aunt, Louise Blanchette, told reporters at the service that the family tried to make the day about remembering three beautiful children. She added that it’s too soon to lay blame for the tragedy.
Neighbours who attended the funeral said the family ran a tree farm in the area and is well known in the community.
CTV Montreal’s Rob Lurie attended the funeral and said the entire community was mourning the children.
“All people will say is that they’re really viewing these children as angels right now and they’re hoping that something positive can come out of this tragedy,” he told CTV News Channel on Saturday.
Blanchette remains in police custody and she is scheduled to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine if she’s fit to face criminal charges.
Her next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 14.
Police discovered the bodies of the two girls and their brother at the mother’s home last Sunday.
Blanchette had limited access to the children due to a custody order. Her former colleague described her as a doting mother who frequently spoke of her children.
“Some victim rights groups have said this was a person who desperately needed psychiatric help and instead she had to deal with the legal system instead of the medical system,” said Lurie.
During a brief news conference held earlier this week, Desautels said he could not explain the pain felt following the tragedy.
He also said that he could not comment on the children’s death so as to not interfere with the police investigation.
Desautels’ aunt, France Malo, said Saturday her nephew “is surrounded by people who love him.”
With files from The Canadian Press and a report by CTV Montreal’s Rob Lurie