RANCHO CORDOVA, CA - Thousands filled an auditorium at Bethany Slovak Missionary Church to mourn the loss of 23-year-old Alina Bukhantsov and her two children, 3-year-old Emmanuela and 2-year-old Avenir.
Their lives were taken unexpectedly inside their Rancho Cordova home Tuesday.
"We have a case where it wasn't just an adult, it was these two beautiful innocent little children," Rancho Cordova Vice Mayor Linda Budge said. "Look at the family, their gorgeous faces."
Budge had been thinking about the tragedy all week. She felt compelled to attend the funeral. The service took place at the church where Alina Bukhantsov taught Sunday school.
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"I was there to simply say how sorry we are and we hope God blesses them and holds them in the palm of his hand," Budge said.
The Bukhantsov Family sat side by side comforting each other. The husband and father of the victims, Denis Bukhantsov held his youngest child Mark, the only survivor of the brutal killings. He discovered his wife's body and the bodies of his two children in their Rancho Cordova home; he later learned his brother allegedly killed them.
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Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said the tragedy strikes a personal chord.
"I know that Denis and the rest of the family have tremendous faith and that will help them find peace and comfort as they go forward," Jones said. "It's an incredible journey they have to go through, I can't even imagine, being a father of four myself."
As the family tries to grasp it all, the support from the general public was touching for them.
"Coming here and sharing this pain with the family,and with us as a community, I really appreciate it," Slovak Community Center director Florin Curiuc said.
An evil act may have taken three lives, but mourners will remember everlasting love of a young mother and her two beautiful children.