RE: Celina Cass, 11. N.H. missing/deceased
Boston Herald this morning, Aug. 5
STEWARTSTOWN, N.H. — The unsolved death of 11-year-old Celina Cass — whose body will be laid out in a pink casket, her favorite color — is “killing her father,” who was bedridden yesterday with exhaustion and severe heart problems, according to the girl’s grandmother.
“Today was not good,” Marcia Laro, the mother of Celina’s dad, Adam Laro, told the Herald yesterday. “His heart is critical. He was supposed to have open-heart surgery, but he’s too weak for it. . . . His health is very bad.”
Adam Laro suffered congestive heart failure and spent more than a week in a coma prior to Celina’s disappearance the night of July 25. He left the hospital last week and made a public plea for her return — against doctors’ advice, his family said.
Celina will be placed in a pink casket, and her body will be cremated, said Marcia Laro, who declined to say when the private service will be held.
(expensive caskets aren't used to cremate.)
“She loved pink — it was her favorite color,” she said.
Investigators found Celina’s body in the Connecticut River on Monday, nearly a week after a neighbor reported her missing.
Authorities have not said whether they consider the girl’s death a homicide, only that they have deemed it suspicious. They have seized two pickup trucks — one belonging to her stepfather, Wendell Noyes, the other, neighbors say, driven by another man who lived in the home — and are interviewing witnesses, reviewing evidence and awaiting toxicology results, Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young said.
A crime-scene photographer yesterday snapped pictures of Celina’s home, a multi-family house that Robbie Kimball, the owner of nearby Wayne’s Lanes and Jo’s Grill, called “a party stable.”
“They had people that were in and out of there all the time,” Kimball said. “It was the get-together hangout.”
Floyd Richardson of Somerville, who is listed as a co-owner of the home, disputed that take.
“It’s a nice, quiet house,” he said. “The inside’s beautiful, the outside’s a mess.”
Natasha Newell, who works with Celina’s mother, Louisa Noyes, said other relatives, including Louisa’s ex-boyfriend’s son, her sister and her aunt, also lived in the house. It was sealed with crime-scene tape after Celina’s disappearance, reopened Saturday, then sealed once again after her body was found.
The owner of a motel in nearby Canaan, Vt., told the Herald that Wendell Noyes collapsed after checking in with his sister Tuesday. They stayed for about an hour and left, and the sister returned alone Wednesday morning, he said.
“She just gave me the keys and said he won’t be staying here anymore,” motel owner Richard Latendresse said.
Posters showing Celina’s picture are still affixed to telephone poles and car windows in this tiny, picturesque mountain town, located precisely halfway between the equator and the North Pole.
Cass’s image stood out because of her tall, 5-foot-5 frame and her snaggle-toothed smile. Marcia Laro said Celina’s teeth went askew three or four years ago, when friends horsing around accidentally pulled a string that was attached to her front tooth. Celina was set to have braces put on this week, she said.if that is true, why wasn't she taken for emergency care at the time?? i don't buy it. if that tooth had been yanked that hard it would have bled like crazy.
Townspeople are forging ahead for this weekend’s annual Stewartstown Days festival. Some had petitioned the organizers to name the event in Celina’s memory, but they declined, Kimball said.
“The kids should have one day where they don’t have to think about her,” Kimball said. “One day to themselves without grieving. Give them a day and let them enjoy themselves.”