A Harrison Mills couple is grappling with an unimaginable loss and the sudden responsibility of raising three small children after the death of their 22-year-old daughter.
Danica Fox of Harrison was discovered dead in Richmond Aug. 18. Her death is still under investigation by Richmond RCMP – at least, that’s what Danica’s parents, Amanda and Stan Fox say police have told them. They said they’ve been given no other details and can’t make funeral arrangements until Fox’s body is released.
Fox was a single mom and leaves behind daughters Hailee, 6, Lillee, 4 and son Tyson, 2.
“We’re not rich. We don’t have a lot of money,” said her step dad, Stan. “We had dreams, and now it’s needing to include three kids. We’re struggling with the cost of taking care of Danica and funeral arrangements and still possibly needing to move to accommodate the kids.”
Fox’s mother Amanda described her daughter as artistic, ambitious and cheerful.
“She was always a bright person who loved her friends like family and loved her kids even more,” she said. “She had lots of potential, lots of dreams.
“She loved to take the kids to the river, go fishing. Do little projects with them,” Amanda added. “She did as much as she could. She was trying to be independent and young at the same time…She tried to stay positive for her kids and everybody around her.”
|Danica Fox was described as a cheerful mother who tried to stay positive despite the challenges of being a young, single mom of three. (GoFundMe)|
Fox grew up in Harrison Hot Springs, attending Harrison Hot Springs Elementary before starting high school in Agassiz. She was a student at the Agassiz Centre for Education, and although she hadn’t graduated, returned to the school off and on until 2017.
“I think she would have graduated eventually [but] having three kids made it hard,” said ACE administrator Sandy Balascak. “She was a really sweet kid with a lot of potential. It takes the hope away. There’s just some lights that go out too soon and hers was one of them.”
Fox had started working in the music industry, her parents say, driving into cities – sometimes Surrey, Richmond or Vancouver Island – to help bands set up for gigs. She stayed home with her kids during the week and left Friday mornings for work, leaving the kids with her parents.
“She didn’t want to be a young, single mom that was struggling all the time to make ends meet,” said Amanda. “She didn’t want to depend on the system. She wanted to do it on her own.
“For her that was a huge driving factor, to show that young moms could be successful. I think that’s where she might have pushed herself too far.”
Amanda said the weekend job may have also been a brief break from parenting for the young mom, but she worries she got mixed up in a dangerous scene.
“She was really drawn to taking a city job…working in the club scene,” her mom said.
“It did come as a surprise to us, that it was the wrong scene, and she ended up dead,” Stan interjected. “We don’t have all the details… about what was really going on. We just know how strongly she was drawn to….[the city].”
Still, Fox called home every day she was gone to check in on her kids. When she didn’t call Aug. 18, her parents knew something was wrong and phoned RCMP. Within 12 hours an officer had arrived to give them the devastating news.
They say the next step will be planning a funeral or celebration of life for Fox.
“She’s not home yet, so we’re still in that state of shock where it’s like, she could come in the door at any minute, but we know she’s not [going to],” said Amanda. “There’s not that closure.
“She’s somebody a lot of people are going to miss. There’s people in Agassiz, Harrison who watched her grow up. She was just as much family to them as some of their own kids.”
This is the second death this summer of a young woman who grew up in Agassiz. The remains of Laura Clark, 23, were discovered July 25 in the Fraser River and identified Aug. 15, three days before Fox’s death.
Police are still looking for tips to help them retrace Clark’s steps leading to her disappearance.
Clark also attended ACE and was a friend of Fox’s, said Amanda.
“They were both young girls trying to be parents, pursuing their individuality at the same time while trying to be parents.”
Currently there is no information that connects the two deaths in any way.
At this time, Richmond RCMP have not responded to a request for information from the Observer.
The Danica Fox family relief fund can be accessed at gofundme.com/in-memory-of-danica-fox.