The families of Lawrence Hong, Joshua Hunter, Kaiti Perras, Zackariah Rathwell and Jordan Segura read a prepared statement to the media on Monday morning on the first day of the trial for their accused killer.

Gregg Perras, Kaiti’s father, spoke on behalf of all five families saying …

We are here to represent the voices of the victims…our loved ones who had their futures taken away and cannot represent themselves…and we are also here to support one another in our profound loss.

Please understand that the last two years have been extremely difficult … incredibly long and anxiety ridden for us as parents, as family members, and for our children’s friends, who also lost so much that terrible night. It is immeasurable to comprehend the anguish and sorrow we have experienced over the last two years. Only those who have experienced significant loss can relate.

All five families are so thankful and so grateful for the overwhelming support that we have received from our extended families, from friends and from the greater Calgary community. We will continue to need that love and support now and in the future.

The grieving and the memories never end for any of us. There is no such thing as a “new normal” that some people talk about. There is only existing…surviving…and a series of bittersweet events going forward in our families lives such as graduations, weddings, and grandchildren. These milestones will be happy and sad at the same time.

A series of tributes to our children will be presented in court and on TV over the next several days to reflect their short, but meaningful lives and put the focus where it should be... on the family that was taken from us: Lawrence, Josh, Kaiti, Zack and Jordan. (The accused always gets too much focus when a trial occurs.)

We are well aware of the important role that the media plays on a daily basis in informing the public of the truths and details about a trial.  However, please respect our wishes for privacy during this incredibly stressful time. We will come to you if we wish to comment.

The priority for us during this trial is to ensure that our loved ones will be given the fair and just attention that they deserve. All we ask is that you remember how they lived – full of purpose, full of life, full of goodness and love for their friends and families. Their deaths and this tragedy do not define them.

Thank you for your time and attention. We have nothing more to add at this time.            

The group statement also said that the families were not planning on answering any questions on Monday and that a statement will likely be provided at the end of the trial.