The father of 8-year-old Maddy Middleton is breaking his silence and thanking the community for the outpouring of support.
In a statement, Michael Middleton, Maddy’s father wrote, “My hope is that she is never forgotten, and she remains in our hearts for all eternity.”
He went on to say, “I want to believe she was taken from us for a higher purpose and to show the world how to love so much more.”
Douglas Sottile, a close friend of the Middleton family, told NBC Bay Area on Friday the healing will take time.
“It will be a long time before we’re ok, but [Michael’s] in good hands,” Sottile said. “He has a lot of love around him. This community has pulled together in an amazing way to show support for Michael and Laura (Maddy’s mother).”
A private memorial for Maddy was planned at the Tannery Apartment Complex on Friday night follows a public vigil held Tuesday night.