A 13-year-old girl who died following an assault in Edmonton on Friday is being remembered as a happy and feisty child, who was full of love for her family.
"She was my baby. Our rock," said Angela Chalifoux in a statement to CBC News. "She was an amazing kid, so happy and full of love.
"She kept our home balanced. She was more to me than just my daughter; she was also my best friend."
Angela Chalifoux's daughter, Sierra Chalifoux-Thompson, died on Friday after police were called to an assault in the area of 75th Street and Mount Lawn Road in the Eastwood neighbourhood.
Officers arrived on scene just after 11 p.m. and found Sierra injured. She was taken to hospital but declared dead upon arrival.
Homicide detectives are now leading the investigation and asking anyone with information to come forward.
A vigil was held for Sierra on Sunday night.
Chalifoux said the family feels shattered. The loss of her daughter remains incomprehensible, she said.
"We are all devastated with this situation, I still haven't accepted the reality of it all," Chalifoux said.
"This is my biggest fear, was to lose a child."
She had so much love to share which makes this so hard to accept. Who would want to hurt her like this? - Angela Chalifoux
Sierra was the second eldest child in her household. She lived with her four brothers and sisters aged three to 14, her mother and her stepfather — who she lovingly referred to as, "daddy 2.0."
She also had three other siblings from her biological father, whom she had recently reconnected with.
The family had moved to Edmonton from High Prairie in 2012. Chalifoux had hoped the city would provide Sierra and the other children with more opportunities for a better life than their small hometown could provide.
Sierra — who often went by her nicknames Brownie and Cece — loved music, drawing, watching anime, skateboarding or riding round on her BMX.
She had played soccer since she was a young girl and always looked forward to family camping trips.
She had just started Grade 8 at Cardinal Leger Junior High School, and like so many young teenagers wasn't exactly thrilled about the end of summer.
Chalifoux said she and Sierra were unusually close. There were no secrets between them.
"We had a bond like no other mother and daughter relationship."
Chalifoux will remember her daughter as a tenacious young woman unafraid to stand up for what was right.
"She did have a bad temper but it was always short fused. If she didn't like something you were doing, she most definitely would let you know was never afraid to speak her mind," Chalifoux said.
But in that honesty, was a desire to help others, her mother said.
"She was a strong brave girl, beautiful inside and out," she said.
"She often bragged about being the bully to the bullies meaning she stood up for those she felt couldn't stand up for themselves. She didn't like seeing anyone hurt.
"She had so much love to share which makes this so hard to accept. Who would want to hurt her like this?"
An autopsy is scheduled for Oct. 8.