Gift for grieving family
|Updated: 12/21/2011 3:47 pm
||Published: 12/20/2011 10:14 pm
The first Christmas without a loved one is indescribably difficult especially for a family whose child was murdered.
"I want them to have a good Christmas but it was hard not wanting to get Ashley something and know that she is not going to be here. It's really hard,” says Ashley Taylor’s mother Trish Coy.
Ashley Taylor, 23, went missing in July. Her boyfriend Kevin Sweat, 28, is accused of killing her and burning her body.
He’s also accused of killing the Weleetka girls, Taylor Paschal-Placker, 13, and Skyla Whitaker, 11, in 2008.
These tragedies have touched many people throughout the nation but there’s one woman, a stranger, who traveled from the south to deliver Christmas presents to Ashley’s family.
Dana Bell drove more than 200 miles to deliver presents to the Taylor family.
Ashley’s little sister Alana is impressed with all the gifts.
"Oh my goodness, look at this!" says Alana Taylor.
It’s a Texas shirt, ironically the size of Bell’s heart.
"I wanted to make sure if I could help, I could deliver it, I guess I am an elf,” says Bell.
A special elf that drove from Dallas to deliver gifts to a family she met on Facebook.
"It's just a blessing for her to come into our life that we met on Facebook through Ashley. To come in here and bless these children for Christmas is such a blessing,” says Ashley’s aunt Dione Coy.
This is a blessing that came from tragedy.
"I have a daughter the same age as Ashley, so I can identify with her,” says Bell.
Bell had already been following the then unsolved 2008 Weleetka murders and that’s how she met resident Sherry Gibson from Weleetka.
Now three girls’ lives taken by the same suspect who confessed to police he murdered them.
"It's rough, it's real rough being without Ashley,” says Dione Coy.
The special Santas are humbled.
"It's not about me, it's about the kids. I know how much her brother and sister meant to her. She wrote about them,” says Bell.
Ashley's mother says she it's comforting to know the Ashley she knows has touched so many lives.
"It's unreal. I can't really imagine someone doing that for you, someone who doesn't really know you. It's unimaginable. We are really grateful,” says Trish Coy.
Bell knows behind the Christmas cheer is a painful wound.
"Of course it is not going to be the same without Ashley but when someone like Dana comes into our life it helps, it does help,” says Ashley’s aunt.
It's a friendship that is blossoming from the worst of times.
One more item the Taylor’s put on Santa’s list is a van with a lift. Ashley’s brother Shane is in a wheelchair. The family says prayer is important and they cannot go to church because they don’t have a vehicle.
To learn more about helping the Taylor family please contact FOX23's Abbie Alford at email@example.com. A memorial fund has been set up for Ashley at First Family Credit Union in Okmulgee under Ashley Celeste Taylor Memorial Fund.
A memorial has been scheduled for Ashley on December 29th at 2 p.m. at Jubilee Church. located in Okmulgee at 12430 N. 230 Road.
The accused killer, Kevin Sweat, faces three first-degree murder charges and if convicted he could face the death penalty.
Sweat’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for February 22nd and 24th.
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