A 7-year-old Connecticut girl who was apparently killed by her mother in a murder-suicide was remembered by her heartbroken father as a “shining star” with “the biggest imagination” at her tearful funeral Friday.
Roughly 100 people gathered to mourn little Layla Malon, who was drowned at her ritzy Westport home before her mother, Tracy Do, 46, fatally stabbed herself, according to officials.
The child’s remains were placed in a pink, floral-patterned urn on a table next to a framed photo of her — as her shattered father, Eric Malon, and 13-year-old sister, Alexis Malon, sat nearby clutching pink roses and shaking with grief.
“Layla was like a bright, shining star. No matter where she was, or what she was doing, she always had a smile on her face,” the dad said through sobs during the eulogy at the Willowbrook Cemetery in Westport.
“Even though she was only 7 years old, a little shorty, her personality was always the biggest in the room. She will be missed as a friend, sissy and daughter,” he said.
“After a long day at work, I would come home and hear her footsteps running to the door to greet me or in the morning throw me a kiss to catch and hold all day. It was my favorite part of the day. On the weekends, we would work on projects together. I would watch you run around the sprinklers or just sit and talk to me,” he said.
He added, “Our memories I’ll always cherish. You always had the biggest imagination … No matter where you are and wherever on Earth or in heaven, you will always be Daddy’s little girl.”
Layla’s devastated sister made it only partway through her speech before she was overcome with sadness.
“I love her a lot and I will always refer to her as my baby sister even though she was growing into a bright, young, would-have-been third-grader,” Alexa Malon said.
Relatives speaking at the funeral made no mention of Do during the funeral.
Police found the child’s body, along with Do’s, at their sprawling, $1.8 million Lyndale Park home — and were at first probing their deaths as a possible double homicide, according to officials.
Do had been locked in a heated court battle with her ex, Malon, over the upscale home, according to court papers.
The state medical examiner and police have said the child died by homicide but have stopped short of alleging that Do was responsible.