In an interview with People published Wednesday, Rachael Sloat says 2-year-old Elle Karina Brewer-Ross has had “moments where she is very quiet and contemplative” as she looks around for her father, Peyton Brewer-Ross.
The toddler appears to be most conscious of Brewer-Ross’s absence in the evenings when she and her dad had a special, pre-bedtime routine.
“They used to play a game when she would get ready for bed … and we’d stand at the top of the stairs and call down to him and say, ‘Daddy, where are you?’” Sloat recalled. “He’d pop out at the foot of the stairs and go: ‘Here I am!’”
“That’s still part of her normal,” she added. “It’s still part of her routine to want to do that, and she’s calling for him and he’s not popping out and she doesn’t understand why.”
Brewer-Ross was participating in a cornhole tournament at Schemengees Bar & Grille on Oct. 25 when he was among those killed by gunman Robert Card in Maine’s deadliest mass shooting. Prior to his death, the 39-year-old worked as a pipefitter for naval ships.
In an interview with Maryland-based NBC affiliate WBAL-TV this week, Brewer-Ross’ brother, Ralph Brewer, described his sibling as a devoted dad who loved to make others laugh.
“That was his life, being a dad and making sure that [Elle] was the focus,” said Brewer, who has launched a GoFundMe campaign for his brother’s family.
Watch a WBAL-TV interview with Ralph Brewer below.
Describing Elle as “wise beyond her years,” Sloat told People that her daughter viewed Brewer-Ross as “Superman.”
She went on to note: “I want Elle to know that her father didn’t leave her on purpose. He was taken from her, she was robbed of him.”