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Church leaders mourn loss of grandmother, granddaughter

"Abby was a beautiful child," said St. Joseph Primary School Principal Matthew Tucker. "She was like any second grade girl. Talkative, full of life."
CONWAY, AR - "Abby was a beautiful child," said St. Joseph Primary School Principal Matthew Tucker. "She was like any second grade girl. Talkative, full of life."

But Abby's life ended all too soon, something her classmates and teachers cope with through memories and prayer.

"We do entrust Janice and Abby into the everlasting mercy of God," said Father John Marconi of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Conway, "and we know that by our faith that they are at peace."

Investigators say 63-year-old Janice Robbins stabbed her granddaughter, seven-year-old Abby, in the chest and set fire to their home this weekend, killing both. Church members say Robbins battled depression. According to police, she left a note behind saying she didn't want Abby to be alone. Now, still reeling from shock, church members do the best they can to cope.

"Our students, they are doing a tremendous job," said Tucker. "I would like to think that they're doing a better job than some of us adults in dealing with this news."

They've done that by leaving flowers outside of St. Joseph's Primary School in memory of Abby and also by writing letters and drawing pictures that will be given to the Robbins family. They no longer have their friend, but they will always have their memories.

Said Tucker, "she was an absolutely beautiful child, and we were blessed to have her here as a student."

There will be a memorial service for Janice and Abby Robbins Wednesday, January 18th at St. Joseph Primary School in Conway. Church leaders say anyone who would like to pay their respects is welcome.
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