WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – The family of 1-year-old Amanda Marie Owens gathered to grieve and pray for her Tuesday night.
“This baby, who we really truly didn’t lose, we lost her in the physical realm. But in the spiritual realm, she still lives in our hearts,” said the deacon leading the prayer.
The toddler’s grief-stricken father could barely speak at first.
“I can’t even describe it. I don’t know what to call it,” Deon Owens told FOX40.
West Sacramento police arrested 43-year-old Derrick Woods, who they said allegedly killed Amanda Marie Owens Monday afternoon inside a West Capitol Avenue motel room.
The family told FOX40 that Amanda Marie Owen’s 3-year-old brother, Eli, was also hurt and remains in the hospital.
For Deon Owens, he said there’s only pain in his heart.
“I can’t take back what I lost,” he said. “I wasn’t there. But I’m here now.”
Siblings of Amanda Marie Owen’s mother said she is devastated and did not want to face any cameras.
“Amanda’s mom, if she could do it all over again, she would’ve never left her kid with Derrick,” said Berry Accius, community activist and founder of Voice of the Youth.
Following the prayer vigil, family released pink balloons for Amanda Marie Owens.
“Just know I love her. Just know I love her. I love her. I love her,” Deon Owens said.