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PLATTE COUNTY, MO (KCTV) -
Three children get up every morning facing a day without their mothers.
And their grandfather clings to the memories of the two beloved daughters taken too soon during a meth-fueled rage.
A year ago this week, Clifford Miller killed 19-year-old Britny Haarup and 22-year-old Ashley Key. Miller told investigators he broke into the home with the intent to rape Haarup. He said he was surprised to see her sister on a sofa. He beat both women in the head and grabbed a pillow which he used to smother each of the women. He molested Haarup's corpse and put her two children in a crib.
He has been sentenced to two life sentences.
"It wasn't the big sigh of relief that I'm sure we were all looking for," Paul Haarup explained. "That didn't happen, but he is convicted. He is gone and it won't happen again, not that way."
One of Britny Haarup's daughters, who is nearly 3 years old, now lives with her grandfather. The other two children are with their fathers. Paul Haarup draws comfort from the small prints on the refrigerator and the stacks of tiny shoes by the door.
"That's kind of the only thing I was good at in my life is being a dad so it's not hard at all," he explained. "They were amazing daughters, they were amazing mothers."
The children can't truly comprehend their loss now. They know they don't have their mothers, but true realization will come.
"The real questions, the real understanding is going to come later ... and we'll be here to answer them," he said.
He said the support he has received in the past year has made a huge difference.
"It's a different world for us with them not being here. It's a new kind of normal. It doesn't get any easier."
He said he knows other families have been devastated by violence. He said it doesn't get easier, you can carry on one day at a time. The family wanted the case resolved and didn't want to ensure endless delays so they supported Wilson pleading guilty to life rather than facing the death penalty.
A memorial fund was set up in the women's names. Paul Haarup says he hasn't seen any money from that fund and has paid all the expenses himself, including his daughters' funerals.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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