The mother of Taylor Mitchell, the 19-year old Canadian folk singer who was killed by coyotes while hiking on Tuesday, released a statement today about her daughter's tragic death:

On behalf of my family, I want to express my deepest thanks for the outpouring of condolences and support from Taylor's friends and fans, near and far. My thanks to the hikers who called 911, the RCMP officer who first arrived on the scene and did his utmost to help her, as well as the incredible doctors and nurses at Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Halifax who tried desperately to save her. I wish to also thank RCMP's Victims Services, and the Atlantica Hotel who've gone out of their way to support us during this difficult time.

There are no words to describe my grief.  Taylor was my shining light, my baby, my confidante and best friend. My world is turned upside down and forever transformed without her.  I don't know how to move forward from here but I know that she would want that for me and I will try to do that in her memory and celebrate her life in the way she lived it—with passion, commitment and an unbridled loving heart.

I've noticed that the media have often mentioned that Taylor was hiking alone when the coyote attack occurred. I want people to know that Taylor was a seasoned naturalist and well versed in wilderness camping. She loved the woods and had a deep affinity for their beauty and serenity. Tragically it was her time to be taken from us so soon.

We take a calculated risk when spending time in nature's fold—it's the wildlife's terrain. When the decision had been made to kill the pack of coyotes, I clearly heard Taylor's voice say, "please don't, this is their space". She wouldn't have wanted their demise, especially as a result of her own.  She was passionate about animals, was an environmentalist, and was also planning to volunteer at the Toronto Wildlife Centre in the coming months.

Her loss is an incomprehensible tragedy on so many levels—but everybody's messages of love and support and desire to keep her memory and music alive will help me to move forward and honour her short but full and vibrant life.

There will be a service and visitation, as well as a concert to celebrate her life and music.

Details will be finalized in the coming days.

With love and deep appreciation,

Emily Mitchell

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