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Community, strangers rally around children of slain South Paris couple

Thousands of dollars have been donated to a Go Fund Me page set up for the family and children of the couple found murdered in their South Paris apartment on New Years Day.

After hearing the news about Heather Bickford and Dana Hill being murdered in their South Paris apartment, Coleen Elias knew she wanted to do something in their honor.

"They had to be so scared," Elias said. "It doesn't feel real."

Bickford and Hill were found dead on New Years Day. Police have arrested and charged Bickford's former partner Mark Penley in connection to their deaths.

Elias knew the couple and wanted to make sure their family, especially Bickford's two young daughters, were taken care of.

"I immediately wanted to get a GoFundMe page up once I got permission from the family," Elias said. "So many people have reached out wanting to do anything they could so I think this is a good way for that to happen."

CLICK HERE to visit GoFundMe page

More than $6,000 of the $10,000 goal has been raised in less than four days. Donations continue to pour into the GoFundMe page from those who knew the couple and even complete strangers.

There was also a candlelight vigil held for the couple over the weekend in South Paris. 

"The community needs words of encouragement, whether through prayer, through song, a moment of silence, through anything," Elias said. "Just having a moment to feel connected and feel like you're doing something."

Bickford's two children are currently in DHHS custody, according to police.

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