Family, friends still don’t know fate of Haynes
Marc Bence/for metro edmonton
Hundreds of friends and relatives shed tears yesterday as they bid goodbye to a "well-liked" 20-year-old woman found dead along a highway near Leduc.
The aunt of Christina Haynes spoke during a funeral service in front of a packed Connelly-McKinley Edmonton Chapel, saying her niece inspired her friends and family with her enthusiasm.
"Her death is a tragedy — it’s as if we’ve been robbed of our joy and the joy of looking forward to spending time with her," said Haynes’s aunt during a eulogy.
Haynes’ aunt Jill, who didn’t want to give her last name, encouraged family and friends to move forward despite lingering questions about the young woman’s death.
"We are overwhelmed with what has happened, but we can turn that into joy by focusing on the memory of how she has touched us in our lives."
Haynes’ body was discovered the morning of Nov. 24 by a passing motorist along Hwy. 39, about one kilometre east of Hwy. 60 near Leduc.
Though Mounties first suspected Haynes was a victim of a hit-and-run, an autopsy ruled she died from falling out of a moving vehicle.
Police have since seized the vehicle Haynes was travelling in and interviewed a number of passengers who were also inside it on the night she died.
Mounties in Leduc haven’t made any arrests, but RCMP Cpl. Wayne Oakes says police are still on the case.
"The primary focus of their investigation now is to determine the circumstances that resulted in her falling from the moving vehicle," said Oakes.
Family and friends at the service were encouraged to bring mementos that were placed in Haynes’ open casket and others placed blue roses that her aunt said were her niece’s favourite flower.
"She touched all of us with her love, joy, enthusiasm and her spark for life," she said.