John Engel, cousin of 6-year-old Olivia Engel, says her family is grateful that the world is learning more about the girl, one of 20 children killed Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Engel, whom she called “Uncle John,” said, “They [Olivia's parents] can't talk about their daughter. It's too soon. But they were gratified by the story they saw yesterday describing Olivia, and so it’s encouraged us to try and talk about her and the kind of person she was.”
“She loved to dance,” Mr. Engel told Chris Jansing Monday. “She loved to be in theater. She loved to sing. She was a creative, outgoing, effervescent, lovely little girl.” Olivia was to be an angel in her church’s Christmas pageant.
Mr. Engel says Olivia’s family has a tremendous amount of faith. “I think that their faith is getting them through this… the support of their friends and family are getting them through this.” He added, “This is not a wound or a hurt that will ever heal… but I think that their faith will support them.”
Despite the horror of what happened, Engel says, he’s not angry. “Definitely not…The family and myself, we’re not focused on the news. We’re really not interested in the incident. We’re really only interested in the 26 people who died and who they were.”
“I mean, these were all of Olivia's best friends," he said. " These were her Daisy Scouts with her who were lost. So, all of our focus is there on the little kids and their teachers.”