A prayer and healing service was held Thursday evening at the Hartford church, attended by the West Hartford family that lost their daughter in a domestic stabbing attack.
West Hartford Police have charged the girl’s 12-year-old brother as a juvenile with murder with special circumstances and first-degree assault. The mother remains hospitalized after also being stabbed Monday afternoon at the family home on Stoner Drive.
“It’s always tough to walk these kinds of experiences,” Fr. Thomas Gallagher from St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church told NBC Connecticut before the service.
His community is looking for light in a time of darkness.
"Sometimes light’s just a flicker and sometimes its strong but being together I think the solidarity of the community is an important piece," Gallagher said.
Gallagher said he has known the Curtin-Murphy family since he arrived at the church in 2008. He tells NBC Connecticut the siblings were twins and they were baptized at the church in 2006.
"Everybody is suffering," Gallagher said. "Everyone feels not only that family’s pain, but it is part of our parish family and the pain and struggle that’s there with confusion."
In addition to bouquets of flowers, there are now white ribbons on wooden sticks at the entrance to the family’s neighborhood and in front of homes. Community members can pick up ribbons at the Stop & Shop on Farmington Avenue in West Hartford.
"We are all a community," floral manager Jennifer Bugai said. "We’re a neighborhood, I grew up in town and we wanted to show our support."
Gallagher shared one of his final memories of the sister.
"Just a wonderful young lady, very kind, hospitable in our recent advent wreath making she was greeting people at the door and welcoming them as they came to make their advent wreaths," he said.
The medical examiner has ruled the girl’s death a homicide caused by stab wounds to the neck and torso.