'They'll never really be gone as long as we remember them': Friend says of family who died in camper fire
Family and friends are struggling to come to terms with the unimaginable loss felt by everyone in the community after a couple and four children died in a camper fire on Sunday.
"They'll never really be gone -- as long as we remember them," said Tanya McManaman, whose daughter was a close friend of one of the children who died.
The memorial in the family's hometown continued to grow Tuesday as people stopped by to pay their respects to the young lives lost.
Michelle Robertson, 28, and her partner Robert Jorge (R.J.) Sears, 30, died with four children: Madison, 11; Robert Ryder, 8; Jaxson, 4; and Colin J. (C.J.), 3.
Among those paying their respects was Aaralyn McManaman, who was Madison's best friend.
"It felt like she was the one who was always going to be there for me. Which was true. She never left my side and she was such a good friend and I never had any other friend like that."
The family of six is being remembered as always being full of love and filled with laughter.
Michelle Robertson's aunt Nellie Lloy says her niece and RJ Sears were dedicated parents who loved all four children immensely.
"R.J. was a beautiful dad," said Lloy. "His whole purpose was to go to work and provide for that family. Michelle was a stay-at-home mom as long as she could, and every day it was about 'How do we make it better and how do we do better?'"
Lloy says the four children were known to bring joy everywhere they went.
Of 11-year-old Madison, Lloy said: "Maddy was involved with so many people at school and she involved herself in sports."
Of eight-year-old Ryder, she said: "There's a depth to that little boy's heart. I was just sitting thinking Sunday morning, I just wonder what his life is going to be because he's just so big and so kind-spirited."
Of four-year-old Jaxson Lloy said: "His nickname is Action Jaxson -- he's so animated."
And finally, three-year-old C.J. never missed a thing, Lloy said.
"He had everybody all figured out," she said.
As for the investigation into the fire, Lloy says she hasn't received much information, but was told that the family was found together.
"The two babies, that's what it looked like, they looked peaceful," Lloy said. "The two babies were in Michelle's arms and the two oldest close by with their dad."
Robertson's family says they're overwhelmed by the support pouring in from their community.
There are multiple community fundraisers started to help cover the cost of things such as funeral expenses, with one group raising more than $11,000 so far.