Ashley Markham press conference

The Billings daughter, Ashley Markham, held a press conference at 6 a.m. This is her statement.

JULY 15, 2009

Again, we would like to thank all law enforcement agencies, the community, our family and friends. We are relieved that the people involved in this crime have been apprehended, and we are certain that justice will be served.

The events that have unfolded in the last week, in the last couple of days, have devastated our family. As you know, our Mom and Dad were loving, caring, giving people. They have simply been taken from our lives too soon.

Mom and Dad devoted their lives, in a large part, to educating others about children with special needs. While many say the children were blessed to have my Mom and Dad, Mom and Dad would tell you if they could, that they were the ones most blessed. They wanted to be the voice for children without a voice, they wanted to give these children a chance, and they wanted to give them a childhood. But it did not stop with children. Many friends will tell you that Mom and Dad were willing to help others who needed it. An example of this is their kindness to friends who recently lost their home in foreclosure. Mom and Dad gave them a home for their family until they could get back on their feet. There are many, many examples of this kind of generosity.

We have lost two people who were truly trying to make the world a better place, one person at a time. The family plans to continue their legacy in the community, as that is what they taught us to do.

The Billings children are coping well. We have an incredible family and we are more than capable of carrying through with the plan our parents have in place. As a result of the overwhelming support and outpouring of generosity from all over the country, we are establishing a trust for the nine younger Billings children. We are so grateful for this extraordinary kindness and will announce the details regarding the trust as soon as they become available.

Again, we would like to express our deep, heartfelt thanks to this community, and to all that have kept us in your prayers. We will need them more than ever in the coming weeks.
Though nothing will ever take away the pain of this horrible tragedy, the love, prayers and support have helped us as we grieve. We know that Mom and Dad are looking down upon us from heaven. We will continue to draw upon the memory of their warmth, compassion, love and strength as we continue through these difficult days. And, we know that they will be by our side every step of the way.