In Colorado, a heartrending tragedy has unfolded, leading to a community-wide effort to support a family in mourning. The family of two young sisters, who tragically lost their lives in an apparent murder-suicide committed by their father, is now raising funds for their memorial services.
The sisters, fondly remembered as “two precious” girls, have been the focus of many social media tributes this week. The community has come together in a show of solidarity with their mother, assisting in raising funds to cover the funeral expenses.
In a devastating turn of events in Phippsburg, Colorado, 7-year-old Jessi and 3-year-old Summer were found deceased alongside their father, James “Jake” Hill. This sorrowful discovery was made after the Routt County Sheriff’s Office responded to a welfare check at the family’s residence on Saturday, local Steamboat Pilot & Today news outlet.
The Sheriff’s Office released a statement earlier in the week, treating the incident as a murder-suicide and reassuring the community that there was no ongoing threat. According to Tera Sherwood Peterson, a family friend, the girls were visiting their 45-year-old father Hill at the time. Peterson has taken the initiative to set up a GoFundMe page to support the girls’ memorial expenses.
She shared that Hill and the girls’ mother, Tierny Kay Miller, were separated. The unexpected nature of this tragedy left the family unprepared, as Peterson noted, “They didn’t have any life insurance on their kids, and it’s very expensive to do and, you know, they needed the money for it.” The fundraising effort has received a significant response, nearing $10,000 in contributions, according to CBS News.
Tierny, the girls’ mother, expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming support in a message on the fundraiser’s page. Accompanying her words were touching photos of her daughters in happier times, capturing moments of affection and playfulness. “Thank you all for the tremendous support and prayers for our family during this difficult time,” she wrote. “The girls will be home tomorrow and we will begin planning services. Thank you all, these girls are greatly loved by the community, love, and strength of all their friends, teachers, staff, and family who are grieving.”
In addition to financial support, the community is also planning a candlelight vigil for Jessi and Summer. This vigil is set to take place this weekend, with plans to establish a permanent memorial for the sisters. A plaque in a local Cedaredge park is being arranged to honor their memory. Additionally, there will be a poignant event where community members will release balloons, each carrying a message in memory of the two young girls.
This tragic incident has not only brought forth a wave of grief but also a remarkable demonstration of community support and unity in the face of an unspeakable loss. The community’s efforts to honor and remember Jessi and Summer underscore the impact of their lives and the deep sorrow felt by those who knew them.