PORT ANGELES, Wash. — It's been five weeks since a Port Angeles mom and her three children were murdered and many in the community are still struggling to make sense of it.
"It's hard to find the right words to describe it," said Todd Fischer.
Valerie Kambeitz and her three children, all under 10 years old, were allegedly murdered by Valerie's newlywed husband last month.
Fischer isn't alone. A lot of people found the deaths difficult to comprehend, so Fischer is letting his artwork speak for him.
He's painting a mural called "Children Are Near My Heart."
It depicts the Port Angeles waterfront where Kambeitz loved to play with her kids, as well as three twinkling stars in the night sky -- one each for Jayden, Emma, and Lilly.
"When I remember people, I like to remember them for the good things that they represented," said Fischer. "Having something fun will hopefully represent the way they liked to play or the way they affected other people."
The mural sits just outside Banbury Corner Children's Center, where two of the three kids went to daycare.
"It cut pretty deeply," said owner Angeline Parrish.
Parrish felt it was important to remember all those lives lost.
"We aim to build futures," she said while fighting back tears. "I can't think of their futures but I can think of how wonderful they were."
There have been eight murders in and around Port Angeles this year alone. That's unheard of for this normally quiet community at the tip of the Olympic Peninsula.
Many now hope the mural's stars shining down from the heavens will provide some light in all that darkness.
"We have a lot of people with beautiful hearts here that, just like Valerie, are always willing to believe in other people," said Parrish. "It's important not to lose that."