Brooke's Parents Speak - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Brooke's Parents Speak

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Brooke Bennett Brooke Bennett
Cassandra Gagnon Cassandra Gagnon
Jim & Janet Bennett Jim & Janet Bennett

Braintree, Vermont - July 5, 2008

"I actually viewed her yesterday and it's just.... I felt her. I felt that she was still with me. It's been awful," says Cassandra Gagnon, Brooke's mother.

It's a nightmare she says she'll never wake up from.

Her daughter, 12 year old Brooke Bennett, was murdered after allegedly being kidnapped by her uncle, 42-year old Michael Jacques.

"I'm very angry. I'm very, very angry. I'm very angry at my brother-in-la, very, very much so. Words can't describe the anger I've had," she says.

"You don't expect that kind of thing from family. It's just very hard to comprehend all of it," says Jim Bennett, Brooke's father.

Police have yet to connect Jacques to Brooke's murder.  He's currently facing federal kidnapping charges and could receive the death penalty. Brooke's father and step-mom would like to see that happen.

"I hope they put him away forever and he rots in hell," says Janet Bennett, Brooke's stepmother.

Brooke's mother isn't so sure....

"I hate that I've got so much anger in me, but I think the death penalty is what he deserves, but I think that is a sweet justice for him," she says.

Both parents say they'll likely never forgive Jacques. Brooke's mother says she's currently just trying to forgive herself.

"I have already burned myself. If I could change this I would."

Cassandra Gagnon says she's offended by those who criticize her for letting Brooke stay with Jacques-- a registered sex offender.

Gagnon says she never allowed her daughter to visit Jacques house if another adult wasn't present.

"They have no idea. I could have been right next to her and someone could have grabbed her. I was at work and I knew where my children were. They always talk to me, so if people want to judge me, that's their choice, but to hell with them."

A family torn by conflicting emotions as they remember the 12 year old girl with an unforgettable smile.

"Her smile, yeah. She had a beautiful smile.  A sweet girl," says her dad.

Keagan Harsha - WCAX News

Related Stories:

Funeral Set for Brooke

Jacques Could Face Death Penalty

Judge OKed Early Probation Release for Jacques

Community Holds Vigil for Brooke Bennett

Police Believe They Have Found Brooke's Body

Court Papers: Uncle Brought Brooke Home for Sex

Former Stepfather Implicated in Disappearance

Brooke's Uncle Charged in Child Sex Ring

Police: Uncle "Person of Interest" in Disappearance

Police Issue Amber Alert for Missing Child

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