There’s a somber note hanging over the city of Marshall today. The daughter of Police Chief Joshua Lankerd and wife Amanda has died. The commemoration of the life of 10-year-old Ayla Lankerd is set for this afternoon. Ayla had just graduated from fifth grade at Hughes Elementary. She died as the result of complications from a brain aneurysm.

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Marshall Public Safety Director Scott McDonald writes on the City of Marshall Police Department Facebook page: “She was a wonderful young person who had much to offer, and her passing leaves our Department stunned in grief. I wish to personally thank everyone who has called or written the Department and offered their condolences to Chief Lankerd and his family.”

Director McDonald is asking area residents to consider positioning themselves in a safe spot along the funeral procession this afternoon. The route will follow Old US 27 south of Hughes Street to F Drive South. McDonald is suggesting that residents find a safe spot well off the roadway like driveways or parking lots. The procession is expected to will start at around two o’clock

Along with residents lining the route, purple balloons are the suggested show of support. Ayla had a thing for purple. Director McDonald is also asking business owners and residents along the route to tie purple ribbons to mailboxes or something near the roadway.

Director McDonald linked to Ayla’s obituary in the Facebook post. He writes, “Please share this with those who you know, so we can provide a powerful show of support to a family who are a part of our community. And please join me in offering our condolences to the Lankerds on the loss of their precious daughter.”

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