Eight-year-old writes letter to murdered mother
Reece Dunne from Cheshire in northwest England was only eight years old when he lost his mother, Ellia Arathoon, in tragic circumstances.
The 29-year-old mom was brutally raped, beaten and packed into a suitcase which was then set on fire in the middle of the woods. It's unclear whether she was still alive by this point.
After Ellia had been declared missing, police found her remains at the side of a highway several days later. The young woman's friends and family were left in shock upon hearing about Ellia's gruesome death; the news also sent shockwaves throughout the country. But it was particularly difficult for young Reece to understand what had happened to his mother. She always told him, "it's you and me against the rest of the world."
He expressed his feelings in a letter that his dad, John Dunne, helped him write to his mom.
A heartbreaking letter written by Reece Dunne, 8, the son of murdered Ellia Arathoon. pic.twitter.com/u5t0hZIuHw
— Zoe Deponeo (@ZoeJournalism) 8. November 2016
I love you a million times around the world.
I wish you didn't die.
I remember playing with you and that made me happy.
I know you are an angel now and you can see me all the time.
I feel sad but I'm going to be brave.
It's hard not to hold back the tears when reading the young boy's words.
Several days ago, Ellia's murderer, 40-year-old Craig Proctor, was sentenced to life imprisonment after conclusive evidence found at the scene linked him to the crime. Hopefully, this judgement will provide Reece and his family with some solace, even though they'll never see Ellia again.
It's been a year since little Reece wrote to his mom in heaven. Over this time, he has had to learn, play, laugh and cry without with his mother there. In the face of this terrible loss, dad John is doing everything in his power to provide his son with a childhood he can look back on fondly. We wish them the best for the future.