On the second Sunday of December every year, families who have lost a child gather for a candlelight vigil. This year in Groveton, N.H., the mother of Celina Cass took part.
"Comforting, but it will never bring my baby back," Louisia Noyes said.
The body of 11-year-old Celina was found in the Connecticut River this summer after she had been missing for a week. Police have ruled her death a homicide.
"It's a tragedy to see what happens to our children. Sometimes we hear about what happens but it is easy to put it in a different place and not really face the facts about what's going on in our own community," said Cathy Brittis of the Child Advocacy Center in Lebanon, N.H.
The Child Advocacy Center investigates crimes against kids, from frequent cases of abuse to more rare cases of homicide, and does outreach in the community.
"We need to be teaching every adult in our community about their responsibility," Brittis said.
She says that educating the community as a whole about the dangers children face is key and she says currently not enough is being done. It's a system she says is failing our kids.
"It is something that we need to be doing as a society because our children are the most important things in this world," Brittis said.
And in the Northumberland Cemetery, there is a stark reminder: a new gravestone for Celina Cass. An 11-year-old whose life was cut short.
"Cheerful, laughing, loved to dress up," Noyes said. "Very positive, very beautiful."
Police have released very few details about the case. Currently no arrests have been made and no suspects have been named.
Advocacy centers are in every county in New Hampshire and most counties in Vermont. Where there are not centers, special investigation units for children are available.
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