"It hurts me incredibly," said Adam Laro, Celina Cass' father. "I don't even know how to explain it-- it's crushing-- it's heart crushing-- it's like a sore that is never going to leave."
Celina Cass' father is trying to cope with the death of his daughter. Laro spoke with us inside his home in nearby Columbia, N.H. His daughter lived north of there in West Stewartstown before her death. The fifth-grader's body was recovered from the Connecticut River Monday. The 11-year-old had been missing for a week. The investigation has focused on Celina's home where she lived with her mom and stepdad.
According to a family spokesperson, Celina's body has been returned to her mother for a private funeral. Her father is not involved in those arrangements, which troubles him.
"They are making funeral arrangements without me, and I want to be a part of that," he said. "And that makes me frustrated and that upsets me. She is my daughter and I want to be a part of that."
Authorities are calling the death suspicious, but an autopsy did not reveal a cause of death and more tests are under way.
WBZ-TV in Boston is reporting Celina's body was wrapped in blanket when a diver found her in the river.
And back at the home in West Stewartstown-- more activity. Wednesday morning a silver pickup truck registered to Celina's stepdad, Wendell Noyes, was removed from the West Stewartstown property. Investigators have focused on the home since her disappearance. It's unclear how many people actually lived in the house, but Celina's dad claims it was not a stable home life.
"It wasn't a good atmosphere over there," Laro said. "There were a lot of people in and out of that place and a lot of faces every time I went over there."
Laro says he voluntarily gave up custody of Celina, but was allowed to visit her. He says he never noticed anything that concerning, but he says he recently found out that Celina's bedroom, which she shared with her sister, was moved to the basement.
"The next thing I know they are staying on an air mattress on the cellar floor," he said. "Staying down in the cellar and to me it's like, why would they do that?"
It's just one question this grieving father has about his late daughter.
Reporter Adam Sullivan: Do you believe Celina was the victim of foul play?
Adam Laro: I can't say that and I can't go there.
Investigators remain on scene at the property. We are still awaiting official updates from the New Hampshire Attorney General's office. It's a crime that has shocked this community, but it remains united-- a children's festival schedule planned for this weekend is going ahead as planned.
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