COLUMBUS, Ind. — The pageant community is mourning the loss of two-year-old Emma Sweet after her body was recovered from an Indiana river Sunday afternoon.
Chelsea Carey, Emma's pageant coach, said their thoughts are with the toddler's family.
"Seeing her on a weekly basis and getting to know how sweet she was and how much she loved being on stage," Carey said. "She was looking forward to her future pageants. She was a really special little girl. We are heartbroken as a pageant community."
Carey said Emma was a typical toddler.
"Their attention spans are short," Carey said. "They are silly and they are giggly, but she was super smart."
Carey had a coaching session with Emma just last week.
They were getting ready for an upcoming Christmas pageant and taking updated photos.
"Just like any two-year-old, she would get through 5-10 minutes of practice and she'd say, 'All done!'" Carey said, with a smile thinking back on the memory. "And I'd say, 'If we don't practice, we can't go see Santa at the pageant' and she'd say, 'Okay!' and we'd get through another 5-10 minutes."
While Emma, the smiling, giggling, sweet Little Miss Carey spoke so highly of won't be sitting in her hair and makeup chair come show time, Carey said she won't erase Emma Sweet's name from her schedule before the Christmas pageant next week.
"I can't even get myself to pull up my hair and makeup list for that pageant because I know her little name is on that list," Carey said. "She'll still have hair and makeup time. I'll schedule her just like if she were there, and during her appointment time I'll just sit and reflect and miss her."