SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rican relatives of one of the 20 children shot to death at an elementary school in Connecticut said the family of the girl had moved to the United States just two months before the attack.
The parents of 6-year-old Ana Grace Marquez-Greene moved from Canada to Connecticut and enrolled the girl at Sandy Hook Elementary School because of its good reputation, the girl's grandmother, Elba Marquez, told The Associated Press late Friday.
"They looked for the best school for their daughter, the best," Marquez said, adding that she had visited there for Thanksgiving.
Ana Grace's father is saxophonist Jimmy Greene, said Jorge Marquez, who is Elba Marquez's brother and the mayor of the southern Puerto Rico coastal town of Maunabo.
Greene thanked everyone for their support in a Facebook posting in which he said the family was trying to "work through this nightmare."
"As much as she's needed here and missed by her mother, brother and me, Ana beat us all to paradise. I love you sweetie girl," the post stated.
Elba Marquez said the family had moved to the area because Ana Grace's mother had been hired to teach at a local university.
"It was a beautiful place, just beautiful," Elba Marquez said. "What happened does not match up with the place where they live."
Jorge Marquez said Ana Grace had a 9-year-old brother who was at the school during the shooting.
"He was in another classroom," Marquez said.
Relatives flew from Puerto Rico to Connecticut early Saturday for the girl's funeral.
Angel Marquez Perez, who is Elba Marquez's cousin, said the 6-year-old girl was born in the mainland U.S. and had visited Puerto Rico for the first time last year, spending Christmas and New Year's with her extended family.
"They had a wonderful time," Angel Marquez, 71, said. "We're the kind of family who likes to have a good time."