Body of Slain 6-year-old Girl Brought Back to Hernando, Fundraiser Held for Grieving Family
BROOKSVILLE – While many Hernando County Residents are enjoying an evening of Fire Rescue and Law Enforcement demonstrations at National Night Out, family of a slain 6-year-old girl are attending a benefit to help cover the overwhelming cost to bring her home.
The family’s nightmare began on September 9th, when 36-year-old Seth Willis Pickering abducted his daughter, Lila Pickering, from a temporary state custodian in Asheville, North Carolina. Lila had been placed in the state’s care, due to allegations that Seth abused his wife, Ashley Pickering. Ashley fled back to Hernando County to escape Seth’s abuse.
According to the FBI, during a supervised visit with his daughter that Friday, Seth abducted his daughter and fled onto the Blue Ridge Parkway.
While officials were preparing an Amber Alert for Lila, two National Park Rangers located Seth and Lila walking down an embankment. When the Rangers made contact with the two, Seth suddenly turned and stabbed Lila in the chest with a knife. Despite efforts to resuscitate her, Lila died from at the scene from her injuries.
After killing his daughter, Seth told Rangers, “Now they will never be able to take her away from me. She’s happier now… It’s what she wanted.” Seth was taken into custody and charged with Murder.
Lila was brought back to Florida on September 21st and a funeral was held soon after.
Family and friends organized a fundraiser at Rebar in Brooksville this evening; to help cover costs associated with transporting Lila’s body back to Florida, and for her funeral.
We spoke to Lila’s grandmother, Cindy Dabill who said “this still feels like some kind of dream. It’s like we’re all going to wake up and it’s all going to be a lie.” Ashley sat nearby but was too distraught to talk to RNRF about the incident. Dabill said “She’s not doing well at all… It’s just too soon.”
Seth Pickering will be tried in federal court due to the incident occurring on federal property.
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