Donna Williams, a San Diego police detective, and daughter Bree Williams, a Mt. Carmel High graduate and softball standout, were remembered Thursday during a service. They were fatally stabbed in their Rancho Penasquitos home on July 18.
Friends and family gathered at funeral services for a respected San Diego Police detective and her teenage daughter, a standout athlete in her own right.
Donna Williams and her daughter Bree were killed July 18 in a nighttime attack at their Rancho Penasquitos home.
During the funeral, the pain felt by Donna Williams' surviving relatives could be felt as daughter DeKenya Williams tried to thank the packed church for their support.
She said she had lost her girls, her best friends.
A cousin talked of Donna Williams' sense of humor and love of music. A colleague described what she called "Donna-isms."
Her once-supervisor and family friend Capt. Jim Collins described how Donna Williams was the Queen Mother of the San Diego police Child Abuse Unit, earning recognition for her work with victims as well as high-profile cases like the disappearance of Danielle Van Dam.
Executive Assistant Chief David Ramirez described her as an icon of the unit.
“You couldn’t mention the unit without thinking about Donna,” Ramirez said.
Bree Williams was a standout athlete and recent graduate of Mt. Carmel High School.
Don Portugal, Bree Williams’ softball coach for the last nine years, said the teenage had a presence on the field that was hard to explain.
"Bree lived life like she played softball, 100 miles an hour," he said.
"She had this ability to play the game at a whole other level when the game became the tightest," he said.
Friend Alyssa Abrenica, who played on Bree's team, talked of the personality held by the teenager who was described as loving, funny, fashionable and creative.
“We were supposed to grow old together, be in each other’s weddings, raise our babies together. Now I can’t even call you to hear your voice,” said Abrenica.
“All your girls miss you so terribly much. It’s hard to be strong when you were always the strong one for us.”
Police arrested 24-year-old Brian Williams and charged him with stabbing his mother and sister to death.
His defense attorney said his client suffers from mental illness.
A San Diego police chaplain tried to help those closest to Donna and Bree Williams deal with the tragic manner of their deaths.
“They endured trauma for a moment, for just a moment,” Chaplain Dale Lowrimore said. “Compared to eternity, it won’t even show up.”
“They’re not in pain anymore," he said. "They’re not in pain anymore.”