It was a tragedy that turned a small town upside down after two sisters were attacked in their own home and murdered. Friday night, the community said goodbye to Ashley Key and Britny Haarup.
Viewers may recall the girls' father saying earlier this week, on the day when the alleged killer was charged, that he was determined to make that day the end to grieving.
He asked people coming to the memorial to dress in bright colors and it was a sea of color inside the Mount Zion Baptist Church on Friday night.
"This is a celebration of life, a colorful life," the minister said.
The room of those celebrating the lives of Haarup and Key was just as their father wanted. Many wore multi-colored tie dyes made for the occasion.
"You're not going through it alone," the minister said to the crowd.
The church ran out of chairs for the 400-some people. It was something the women's uncle wanted their mother, Teresa, to see.
"Teresa, I know it's been tough, but I need you to look into this room. This is a representation of you. These people are here because you've raised your children to the best of your ability and I need you to understand that," the uncle said.
Key and Haarup were inseparable as little ones, sisters in song as teens and also together as adults when a man entered the younger sister's home and killed them both.
"The joy that Ashley and Britny brought to each of us is something that should be looked upon as a gift. They were taken from us much too soon," Scott Key, their uncle, said.
Scott Key read a statement, written by their mother at the memorial.
"We say goodbye to the early version of Ashley and Britny today, but not to their spirit," he said.
Their grandmother, Teddie Myers, spoke of the future.
"We will miss them forever and our love will never die. Soon we will see them in our home up in the sky," she said.
Key and Haarup were not just daughters, but mothers as well. The presentation at their memorial showed many photos of them doting on their babies. They are survived by three children who are now being cared for by family members.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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