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Belle River girl mourned at funeral after believed 'choking game' death
St. Simon and St. Jude Church overflowed with friends and family members mourning the loss of an 11-year-old Belle River girl.
Aja Chandler died last week in her room. Her parents believe she accidentally killed herself while playing the ‘choking game.’
Her father, Joe Chandler, talked about his heart-wrenching loss in an exclusive interview with CTV News on Tuesday.
Members of her Tecumseh soccer team released purple balloons at the funeral. Students at Ecole Pavillon Des Jeunes, where Aja was a Grade 6 student, lined up along the schoolyard fence beside the road as the funeral procession drove by.
The hearse stopped for a brief moment in front of the school, before heading on to the burial site - a beautiful moment to honour a precious life.
“I just know in my heart she didn't want to leave us,” says Chandler.
The family hopes to raise awareness about the deadly activity and have created the website www.rememberaja.org.
Chandler says he's sharing his daughter's tragic story because he wants others to learn from it and he wants to keep Aja's memory alive.
“We want to do something special for her because she is loved so much and she wants to be here right now,” says Chandler.