The distraught family of one of the 12-year-old girls accused in the Slender Man stabbing have spoken out about feeling “overwhelmed with anguish” over the case.
In 2014 friends Morgan Guyser and Anissa Weier, lured their classmate Payton Leutner to a local park in Waukesha, Wisconcin, and brutally stabbed her 19 times.
The 12-year-old victim managed to crawl to a nearby bike path, where she was found by a passing bicyclist covered in blood and close to her death.
The accused, now 14, claimed they tried to kill Peyton as a sacrifice to Slender Man - a fictional Internet ghoul who supposedly lives in the woods and preys on children.
“We did not raise her to do this action,” Anissa’s mother Kristi Weier told PEOPLE. “I cry practically every day since the incident.”
“We wish to express our deepest sympathies and extend our heartfelt prayers to the victim and her family,” she continued.
“We do have eye contact and acknowledgement with the parents, but we have not given our condolences or asked, “How is Payton doing?”
“We have kept our distance out of respect for them and what they’re going through.”
Despite their age, Anissa and Morgan were charged as adults with first-degree intentional homicide and are currently awaiting trial. If found guilty the pair could face up to 65 years in prison.
Since the attack, Payton has made a full recovery from her wounds and is now a freshman in high school.
This article first appeared on New Idea.