Vigil to remember Smith family in Saco

SACO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- More than 100 people gathered outside of the Riverview apartment complex in Saco Tuesday night for a candlelight vigil for the Smith family.

Police said father Joel Smith shot and killed his wife Heather, and three children, Saturday night, before killing himself. Jason Montez was 12-years-old, Noah Montez was 7, and Lily Smith was 4.

It has left the tight-knight neighborhood on Water street, and the entire Saco community, saddened and in shock.

"This community so needs support and love. They so need a light in the darkness," said neighbor Cynthia Reid.

She said she only ever knew Joel Smith as a loving father, and never suspected there were any domestic issues.

Police said some of Joel's friends suspected he was depressed, and even threatened suicide earlier in the week. Neighbors said it feels like losing their own family members. "It's our community. It's our family. We lost some of our family," said vigil organizer Dellas Nason.

Saco Mayor Don Pilon said he has heard from people all over the community, struggling with the loss.

"It impacts not just this street. It impacts the entire community. When tho street morns, Saco mourns," said Pilon.

At the vigil, children wrote messages on balloons and released them in memory of the family. Their death has left kids as young as Jason, Noah, and Lily grieving, and grown adults unable to understand.

"It's impossible, I can't wrap my mind around it," said Cynthia Reid.

Saco Middle School and Fairfield School will be open Wednesday for grief counselors to meet with anyone who needs support. The schools will be open from 9 a.m. to noon. Anyone who wants counseling but cannot make those hours should call the superintendents office.


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