PLATTE COUNTY, Mo. - A Missouri man said the deaths of his daughters is a life sentence for their children and the rest of their family.
Britny Haarup, 19 and Ashley Key, 22, were found dead in a Clinton County field Sunday night, two days after they were reported missing by Britny's fiancée, who came home to find the sisters missing and their young daughters in a crib alone.
My daughters…were very wonderful people," Paul Haarup said Monday at a news conference, just moments after 31-year-old Clifford D. Miller was charged in his daughters' deaths . "Their short lives are not going to be forgotten."
Paul Haarup said the family's focus will turn to Britny's and Ashley's children.
"Our duty is to make sure the three granddaughters left behind are very aware of how special their mothers were," Paul Haarup said.
Paul Haarup addressed statements he had made during the search for his daughter, that Ashley may have been "running with the wrong crowd" recently.
"The reason that she was at (Britny's) house was because she finally made the decision to get up and dust herself off and lead a good life for her daughter and her family," he said.
"By no means in any of this, is there any dark shadow cast on my daughter Ashley."
The girls' father said family members were wearing black Monday because they were starting the grieving process, but he wanted the grieving to turn into a celebration of his daughters' lives.
"We are not grieving this," he said. "We want this to be a colorful remembrance of two amazing lives."
Family and friends will hold a celebration of life for Britny and Ashley will be held at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church at 5705 Hwy Z in Edgerton at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Anyone wishing to send flowers may do so directly to the church.