Mom of girl killed in Athens murder-suicide donates Christmas gifts to fire victim

Just two days before Christmas, police say a 3-year-old girl's father killed her. Days later, that little girl's grieving family offered a gift to another family facing a different tragedy.

A family, who had a young life taken from them days before Christmas, is helping another family who experienced a loss of their own smile again, thanks to a beautiful act of kindness.

On Dec. 23, police in Athens got a 911 call from a Hampton Inn on West Broad Street after managers were unable to get inside a room. When officers got there, they found the body of 49-year-old Mark Coronado and his daughter inside the room. Police said Coronado left a note before allegedly killing his 3-year-old daughter Adalynn, then himself. 

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Authorities identified a cause of death for Coronado, but have not released it to anyone other than family. A cause of death has still not been determined for 3-year-old Adalynn.

While family told 11Alive they are devastated, Adalynn's family is honoring their loss with an act of kindness for a family who lost everything they owned in a Christmas Eve fire.

Just one day after Adalynn's death, Carla Holler, her family, and many other families found themselves without a home after a devastating fire tore through the apartment complex they called home. 

Holler said she felt like they barely made it out of the Sterling Cove apartments alive. She said they lost everything they had – including Christmas gifts for their 2-year-old daughter, Blaise – but thankfully, no one was injured in the fire.

Holler's family turned to the community to help raise $5,000 to replace their belongings, but they were surprised to hear from the family of Adalynn, who extended an offer to donate their little girl's gifts to Holler's 2-year-old daughter. 

"It's just a lot of emotions," Holler said.

11Alive's Faith Abubey spoke to Holler Wednesday night, who said she was contacted by Adalynn's family after they watched 11Alive's coverage of the devastating Christmas Eve fire. 

"They wanted to show us that even when something terrible happens, you can do something. You can help," she said.

The two families met Wednesday afternoon for about an hour to exchange gifts and just talk, Holler said. They shared photos of 2-year-old Blaise opening gifts with 11Alive. 

While Adalynn's family, who didn't want to speak on camera, is still left wondering why Coronado ended their little girl's life, they said they were glad to be able to help share the Christmas spirit with a family in need.

Holler said the circumstances the families met under are definitely not ideal, but she said it's nice something good came out of the situation.

"I can't imagine what they're going through, but the fact that they were thinking of us and they wanted to do something kind. To make something good come from the bad," Holler said.

Family says Adalynn will be buried Thursday.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said Coronado used a gun in the incident. Police have not yet released an exact account of what led up to the murder-suicide.

© 2018 WXIA-TV


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