With photos, candles and balloons, the community came together Wednesday evening to remember Avalena Conway, the little girl who died in an Auburn, Massachusetts, foster home over the weekend.
Her biological parents, as well as friends and strangers, took part in the vigil at the town common in Marlboro, where her grandparents live.
“She really was a precious child. She had my father's musical ability and I’m so proud of her," said Avalena grandfather, David Coxon. "It’s just a tragedy.”
The vigil comes as we learn more about the foster mother, Kimberly Malpass. Her sister, Tamari Malpass, said Kim is heartbroken over what happened.
"She is unable to make a statement at this time due to her complete and utter devastation, so quickly she went from a house filled with joy, laughter, happiness and children one day to a state of shared shock and destruction the next," Tamari said through tears.
Kim is a single mom who was caring for two biological sons, an adopted daughter, and three foster children.
"For many of you, I know it sounds like an overwhelming task to take care of six children safely, believe me when I tell you she did this with ease," Tamari said.
With investigators executing a another search warrant at the Auburn home overnight, Tamari says her family is hopeful it yields answers and says they are cooperating fully with police.
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"As far as the circumstances surrounding this impossible tragedy, our family is as eager and desperate as the public to find out what happened that morning," Tamari explained.
Tamari says the family is desperate for answers and whatever happened to Avalena, and another foster child at the home who is in critical condition, must have been an accident.
"She looked at these kids as her daughters, she was raising them, she loved them, she cared for them like any other mother would be doing," said Tamari sadly, "and we're devastated."
Necn has also confirmed there was a 7th child in this home when the two foster children were found unresponsive Saturday.
A woman at a home in Worcester tells necn her 5-year-old daughter was also there. Only necn cameras were present Wednesday as an investigator arrived to question the little girl about what she may have seen.
The child’s mother, who says she’s Kim Malpass’s best friend, says Malpass babysat her daughter every weekend and she stands behind Malpass’ abilities.
In all at this point, investigators have executed three search warrants at the Auburn home. No details have been released as to what could have caused Avalena's death.