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Angela and Alan Symes, the parents of Henderson two-year-old Aisling Symes, have released the following statement through Mr Wymond Symes, a cousin of Alan, and David Ball, Angela's brother and uncle to Aisling:
• Angela and Alan have asked us on behalf of Aisling's family to thank the many people who have supported us throughout this traumatic week.
• Thank you to the media for respecting our privacy, especially today. We ask that you continue to give us the time and space to grieve as we struggle to deal with the awful loss of a beautiful daughter, sister, niece and family member.
• No words can describe Angela and Alan's pain and anguish. This past week has been a traumatic ordeal for us all.
• We cannot thank the Waitakere Police enough for all they have done and continue to do for us. The police have gone to extraordinary lengths to do everything possible to find Aisling and to help and support us.
• Police have been resolute in their efforts to find Aisling. They have been professional and the humility they have shown to us has really touched our family.
• We particularly want to thank Inspector Gary Davey, Detective Senior Sergeant Jill Rogers and family liaison officer Constable Nathalie Heem. We are grateful for the support they and their team continue to give us. The communication police has had with our family has been outstanding. They couldn't have done anything more.
• We also want to thank the wider community for the many messages, flowers, tributes, food and other generous offers of support at this time. Our church, Ranui Baptist, and other parishes in West Auckland have been amazing. We are also stunned by the many other gestures and messages which have come from individuals and companies who are unknown to us.
• The compassion and support given to us highlights our faith in humanity.
• The loss of Aisling is unbearable. We have however some sense of resolution in that Aisling has been found. It's hard to imagine life without her, without her infectious smile and bubbly nature.
• Even though we grieve for our loss, our hearts go out to the parents and extended families of children in New Zealand and elsewhere who are still missing.
• Our priority remains on supporting each other. The days ahead will be difficult and we thank you for your continued love and support.
• It is too soon for us to indicate when Aisling's funeral service will take place.