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‘My heart is broken,’ says father of nine-year-old found dead in Sundre; mother charged with first-degree murder

CALGARY – The father of a young girl found dead in a vehicle near Sundre last week has released an emotional statement speaking about his loss.

Duane Lucius describes 9-year-old Amber Lucius as sweet and lovely, and says her death has broken his heart.

Her body was found in an abandoned vehicle on Tuesday, September 2nd.

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Duane says his daughter’s death came as a terrible shock, and is being felt by the entire community.

“A parent never knows when a child may be taken from them, so I urge you to make the time to have fun with your children, and never take them for granted,” he says.

“I want to thank the community for all the support I have received since I got this terrible news.”

Amber’s biological mother, 47-year-old Laura Coward, has been charged with first-degree murder.

Initially, she was only facing charges of breaking and entering and abduction, but the charges were replaced when she appeared in court on Monday.

“The RCMP has committed considerable resources to the investigation,” said RCMP Insp. Garrett Woolsey during a morning news conference. “We engaged the major crimes unit from southern Alberta… we brought in 35 investigators, who have worked tirelessly ever since.”

WATCH: Insp. Garrett Woolsey gives an update on the investigation during a Monday morning press conference.

Amber’s cause of death hasn’t been released, and police are still investigating a motive.

“On behalf of the RCMP, I’d like to personally and professionally extend my sympathies to Duane Lucius, the Lucius family and the family of Amber Lucius,” said Woolsey.

Statement from the father of Amber Lucius

I am devastated by the tragic loss of my innocent, sweet and lovely daughter. My heart is broken. The time I had with Amber was cut short but the time I had with her will always be the most special time of my life.

Amber’s death comes as a terrible shock to all those who had the honour of knowing her, including her family and friends. This loss is felt by our entire community.

Amber was lots of fun. A parent never knows when a child may be taken from them, so I urge you to make the time to have fun with your children, and never take them for granted.

I want to thank the community for all the support I have received since I got this terrible news.

We will be holding a private funeral to mark Amber’s passing later this week.

We thank the media for respecting our privacy and ask that they do not attend the funeral. I also ask that the reporters refrain from making inquiries at Amber’s school.

The circumstances surrounding Amber’s death are still under police investigation and they will be sharing that information with the public as they see fit.

I am providing a picture of Amber and ask that it be used in any media coverage related to her death.

Thank you,

Duane Lucius

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