'She's our hero:' Family of Grand Forks mother killed during child custody exchange speaks out
The family of 31-year-old Carissa Odegaard said while they are heartbroken, they are very proud of her for standing up for herself and her kids.
WARREN — The family of 31-year-old Carissa Odegaard wants the single mother of five to be remembered for the person she was to them and so many in the Grand Forks area, not how she died.
Her sister Anna Woinarowicz wants to say thank you to everyone for the outpouring of love during this tough time.
"My mom said she was the easiest daughter to raise, no offense to the rest of us," she said with a laugh.
A 31-year-old who made her kids her world, even as she was going back to school for medical coding and running a photography business. Odegaard's sister said her sister made being a mom the greatest privilege in life.
"After leaving her ex-husband I watched her rebuild a beautiful life for her and her kids, she invested herself in all of their needs. She was so elegant with each of their personalities, and gave all of them tools to succeed while cheering each of them on in their interest," said Woinarowicz.
A young woman with a compassionate heart and sensitive spirit.
"You could feel the peace of God coming off of her even when things weren't perfect," said Woinarowicz.
A family mixed with grief but pride at the same time, as she fought for her kids up to her final breath.
While all of us are very heartbroken, we are also all very proud of her for standing up for herself and her kids. She's our hero," said Woinarowicz.
Odegaards family wants everyone to know the five kids are safe.
A GoFundMe has been setup for Carissa Odegaard's children and family.