INNISFAIL – Friends and family devastated and baffled by the murder of a young Innisfail mother mourned their loss on Saturday.
“It is mixture of shock, sadness and looking for answers,” said pastor Dave Wiebe of Innisfail Alliance Church after a memorial service for Vicky Shachtay.
About 250 people attended the memorial at the Innisfail church for Shachtay, 23, who died on Nov. 25 after opening a package rigged to explode.
A private family interment service was held earlier.
Wheelchair-bound after breaking her neck in a single-vehicle collision in the spring of 2004, Shachtay was at home with her caregiver when she found the package on her doorstep.
Her caregiver wasn’t injured and Shachtay’s daughter Destiny, 7, was at school when the explosion inside the Innisfail apartment complex occurred at about 9 a.m.
Police say Shachtay was the target and continue to investigate.
Sgt. Patrick Webb, RCMP spokesman for Southern and Central Alberta, said progress is being made in the investigation. But at the moment nothing could be released to the public.
Anyone who thinks they may have information should give police a call, Webb said.
Pastor Wiebe said Shachtay was “just a delightful girl, spunky, fun to be with, loved life, met her challenges head on.”
Shachtay was remembered for the genuine care she had for others, her wit, maturity, and devotion to God.
The last time Wiebe saw her was the night before her death at the kids’ club at the church.
Shachtay was helping children make crafts.
“Kids will miss her. The church family will miss her. The community will miss her.”
Several people at the memorial wore red sweatshirts — Shachtay’s favourite colour — with Free to Dance written on the front, words from a song sung at the memorial.
On the shoulder of the sweatshirts was Shachtay’s name.
“She is now free to dance and free to run,” Wiebe said.
During the eulogy, Marnie Rilling said Shachtay may have been confined to a wheelchair, but Shachtay and her chair could sure “zoom around town.”
Rilling said Shachtay wouldn’t let her disabilities stop her.
She had a modified van that put her in the driver’s seat and always arrived early for church, usually with a Tim Hortons cup.
Some people brought a Tim Hortons beverage to the service with a wink to Shachtay.
About 25 family members filed in for the ceremony through the church crowd. Shachtay is survived by three brothers and a sister, her father and step-father. Her mother died in 2010 from cancer.
Wiebe, who spoke on behalf of the family, said they are grateful for the outpouring of compassion on Saturday and since the tragedy.
Destiny, who was born not long after Shachtay’s vehicle collision, is being cared for by family.
Rilling said Shachtay’s world revolved around her daughter.
“Destiny, your mother often told me she loved you with all of her heart,” Rilling told the young girl surrounded by family during the service.
Memorial donations may be made “In Trust For The Daughter Of Vicky Shachtay,” transit number 06829, at any branch of the Royal Bank.
— copyright Red Deer Advocate