NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — Funeral arrangements have been announced for some of the child victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn., as one little girl’s family remembers her for love of horses and orca whales.
Jessica Rekos, 6, was one of the 20 children – all ages 6 or 7 – who were killed in when Adam Lanza, 20, opened fire on two classrooms at the school Friday. Six adults – all women – were also killed, before Lanza turned the gun on himself.
Jessica’s family remembered her in a statement for her creativity and love of animals – horses in particular.
“Jessica loved everything about horses. She devoted her free time to watching horse movies, reading horse books, drawing horses, and writing stories about horses,” her family said. “We had promised her she could have her very own horse when she turned 10.”
For this Christmas, Jessica had asked Santa for new cowgirl boots and a cowgirl hat.
“She was a creative, beautiful little girl who loved playing with her little brothers, Travis and Shane. She spent time writing in her journals, making up stories, and doing ‘research’ on orca whales – one of her passions after seeing the movie Free Willy last year,” her family said. “She said her dream was to see a real orca. Thankfully her dream was realized in October when she went to SeaWorld.”
Jessica was the first born child for the parents, who called her their “rock.”
“She had an answer for everything, she didn’t miss a trick, and she outsmarted us every time. We called her our little CEO for the way she carefully thought out and planned everything. We cannot imagine our life without her,” Jessica’s family said. “We are mourning her loss, sharing our beautiful memories we have of her, and trying to help her brother Travis understand why he can’t play with his best friend. We are devastated, and our hearts are with the other families who are grieving as we are.”
A funeral for Jessica will be held on Tuesday at noon at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, at 46 Church Hill Rd. in Newtown. Burial will follow at St. Rose Cemetery.
Funeral arrangements have also been announced for Noah Pozner, also 6. He will be mourned at 1 p.m. Monday at Abraham L. Green & Son Funeral Home, 88 Beach Rd. in Fairfield, Conn., followed by burial at B’nai Israel Cemetery in Monroe, Conn.
Jack Pinto, also 6, will be mourned at 1 p.m. Monday at Honan Funeral Home, 58 Main St. in Newtown, followed by burial at Newtown Village Cemetery.
In addition to Jessica, Noah and Jack, the child victims are identified as:
• Charlotte Bacon, 6;
• Daniel Barden, 7;
• Olivia Engel, 6;
• Josephine Gay, 7;
• Ana Marquez-Greene, 6;
• Dylan Hockley, 6;
• Madeleine Hsu, 6;
• Catherine Hubbard, 6;
• Chase Kowalski, 7;
• Jesse Lewis, 6;
• James Mattioli, 6;
• Grace McDonnell, 7;
• Emilie Parker, 6;
• Caroline Previdi, 6;
• Avielle Richman, 6;
• Benjamin Wheeler, 6;
• Allison Wyatt, 6.
The adult victims were:
• Rachel Davino, 29;
• Dawn Hochsprung, 47, the principal of the school;
• Anne Marie Murphy, 52;
• Lauren Russeau, 30;
• Mary Sherlach, 56, the school psychologist who planned to retire next year;
• Victoria Soto, 27, a first-grade teacher.
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