VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) - Friends and family gathered in Vancouver Friday night to honor the life of 5-year-old Hartley Anderson.

Investigators say the little girl was killed by her mother’s boyfriend. But on this night, the focus was on Hartley and all of the lives she touched.

“Hartley, you’ll always be in our hearts," Hartley’s mother, Nataasha Luchau, said. "I love you so much. We will never stop fighting for justice for you."

Hartley’s mother made that promise to her little girl moments before she was circled by a large crowd of loved ones. Friends and family embraced the devastated family at Hartley’s favorite park. The faces of children, some younger than her, were crying in the crowd.

“Her free spirit touched everyone who met her," Luchau said. "Life will never be the same ever again. Thank you to the nurses who sat with her when she went to heaven and I couldn’t be with her. She was sweet, sassy and spunky. She filled our days with sunshine and joy. She loved to dance and sing."

And that’s why, shortly later, the family broke into dance to Hartley’s favorite song.

“It’s a Hartley dance!" Hartley’s uncle, TJ Luchau, said. "It doesn’t matter what it was, she had her rhythm."

“I don’t think she had an enemy, but she was bossy and she gets that from her mom, Hartley’s grandfather, Tim Luchau, said, laughing. 

The family says their sassy girl who loved to tuck her dog in at night will be with them forever.

Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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