There were more than 1,000 people packed into a Quebec church this Saturday mourning the death of three young siblings, but none more devastated than the their father Patrick Desautels.
Police suspect that children Laurélie, 5, Loïc, 4, and Anaïs, 2 were murdered by their own mother while staying at her apartment one week ago.
After the services, Desautels walked silently from the church clutching a photograph of his sons and daughter as he passed tractors from their nursery filled with stuffed toys given by friends, families, and strangers touched by the tragic story.
As he stood on the church steps dozens of balloons – each marked with the children’s ages – were released to the sky.
Members of the media were not allowed within the services.
However in a statement made before the funeral Desautels, expressed the terrible agony of his loss.
‘I’d like to thank everyone who have banded together to help us — myself and my family — in this terrible ordeal,’ Desautels said in a prepared statement. ‘The pain we are experiencing is inexplicable.’
He asked that media respect the privacy of his family, and said he would deeply miss his beloved children for the rest of his life.
The story has rocked a community still searching for answers as to how three innocent children could be taken under such circumstances.
‘It hurts my heart … they were three angels,’ said one unidentified man who attended the service.
Mother Sonia Blanchette, 33, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder this Wednesday.
She is in police custody pending a psychiatric evaluation to determine if she’s fit to stand trial.
She is scheduled to appear in court on December 14th.
Blanchette had lived alone with the children on the second floor of a duplex for two years, but CBS News reported that she had lost custody of the children in 2012 and now was only allowed visiting days every two weeks under supervision of their maternal grandmother.
Her aunt, Louise Blanchette, attended the services as a show of support for Desautels.
The minister who performed the service later told the media that he’d chosen to focus his sermon on spirituality rather than on the circumstances surrounding their deaths.
Stephen Willard | Elite.