Forty Fort, Luzerne County -- Rev. William Lukesh, the pastor of Forty Fort Presbyterian Church, offered words of comfort Saturday night at Forty Fort Park. More than 100 people filled the park to mourn and to celebrate the life of Camryn Shultz.
Just two days shy of her second birthday, the Forty Fort toddler died last weekend in a murder suicide at the hands of her father. The tragedy shook the entire community. "I didn't have any words to express how I feel. I just thought as a community if we got them in the healing process that's the best I could do for them," said vigil organizer Debbie Taylor while fighting back tears.
As Camryn's family members held each other close, they took comfort in a caring crowd that surrounded them in solace. "The support that we have had is just overwhelming. This is just something you never would have thought could happen to your family. We appreciate all of the support," said Camryn's aunt Jennifer Wilson.
As music played and the early evening grew darker, each person at the candlelight vigil passed the light onto the next. "We would just like to thank everybody for coming out and showing support for Camryn. She's truly and angel," said Ms. Wilson who was choked by emotion.
The vigil concluded with the release of Chinese lanterns -- including one that bore Camryn's name sent to the heavens by her grieving mother, Jessica Shultz, who is now left to carry on without her daughter. "I just want to thank you all for your support, your kind words, your love, your prayers. Everything. Because without you guys, I don't know how I or my family would get through this," said Ms. Shultz as she sobbed in front of the crowd.
Organizers also took up a collection for Camryn's family at the vigil.