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.”
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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.