15-months after she was allegedly murdered, Kiesha Weippeart will be
to rest today. September
six-year-old girl will be farewelled at a private funeral service at
Pinegrove Memorial Park, in Sydney's west, ahead of a public memorial
to be held next week, The
Daily Telegraph reported.
biological father Chris Weippeart and grandmother Liz said it was their
wish to give the little girl a private funeral, despite other relatives
being upset by the decision.
is our little girl, this is the way we want to do it," Mrs Weippeart
public memorial has been planned for next Tuesday, which Mrs Weippeart
said the whole community is welcome to attend, to say goodbye to Kiesha.
dont mind who comes to the memorial, but we want to keep the funeral
service private and low-key," she said.
Kiesha's maternal grandfather Rodney Smith, and other members of the
family said they are angry she is not being farewelled with a large
deserves a proper goodbye," Mr Smith said.
mother Kristi Abrahams and step-father Robert Smith, who have both been
charged with murder, have been told of the funeral, but have been
denied the opportunity to attend.
Smith's mother Rebecca said she had hoped Kiesha's funeral would have
been a special ceremony with the fuss the little girl deserved.
think it's disgusting she isn't getting a proper funeral like she
deserves. I just can't believe it and I'm angry about it," Mrs Smith
said Kiesha's skeletal remains were found in a shallow bush grave in
April this year, but it took the Coroner and forensic pathologists
almost five months to determine her cause of death, before they could
release her for burial.
and butterflies released to honour Keisha Weippeart
balloons and butterflies have been used to honour the memory of
murdered six-year-old Kiesha Weippeart at a public memorial service
More than 150 people gathered for the
two-hour service at Holy Family Parish Church in Emerton in Sydney's
service comes one week after a private funeral for Kiesha, who was
allegedly murdered by her mother Kristi Abrahams and step-father Robert
The congregation heard
eulogies from family friend Alison
Anderson, a former foster parent to Kiesha, and also Flora Tiitii, the
defacto partner of Robert's brother Jason.
Kiesha's father Chris
Weippheart did not attend, but his mother, Liz, sat front row.
Two police officers
involved in the investigation received a round of applause and a gift
from the organisers.
At the end of the
service, balloons and butterflies were released into the sky by
Peace at last
for little Kiesha Weippeart
she is at peace. After a short, sad life, Kiesha Weippeart was
yesterday farewelled at a long-awaited funeral.
has been 15 months since the six-year-old girl was allegedly
murdered by her mother and stepfather and family and friends finally
got the chance to say their goodbyes."We've waited a long time to be
able to do this, to let her rest in peace," her biological father Chris
skeletal remains were found in a bush grave in Sydney's west
in April, but it took more than five months for the Coroner and
forensic pathologists to complete their investigations. Her mother
Kristi Abrahams and stepfather Robert Smith have been charged with
there was no mention of the little girl's sad ending at the
funeral. Instead, Father Edward Dooley encouraged the 100-strong
congregation to turn their minds to healing.
have prayed for Kiesha for months ... now it's time to heal," Father
choir of children surrounded Kiesha's small purple coffin and sang
the words from the Sarah McLachlan song In the Arms Of An Angel, before
laying small toys, including a Barbie Doll, on the casket.
Photo boards with
memories of happy times in Kiesha's life were
displayed in the chapel at Pinegrove Memorial Park.
Flowers and balloons were
all purple and mourners were asked to wear
purple - Kiesha's favourite colour.
At the end of the short
service, Kiesha's coffin was carried to a
gravesite, just metres from where her brother Ayden is buried.
Ayden died in 2003 from what the Coroner
ruled was sudden infant death
Both were the biological
children of Mr Weippeart. Kiesha's grandmother
Liz Weippeart said it was a relief to the family to know the little
girl had now been given the dignity she deserved."This isn't a pleasant
experience for anyone ... but at least we know she is at peace and that
is what she has deserved for a long time," Ms Weippeart said.
She said it was important
for the grieving family to give her a "bright
and happy" funeral, and send off "our princess".
The service yesterday was
a private funeral, at the family's request.
However, a public
memorial service will be held at Holy Family Church
at Mt Druitt on Tuesday, at 10am.
Family friend Alison
Anderson said the whole community was invited to
the memorial, which she said would give closure to the Mt Druitt
locals, who have been so affected by Kiesha's death.
"I think it will give a
lot of people closure, to be able to say
goodbye," Ms Anderson said.
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