Sheila Marie Evans was beaten, raped, and murdered by Ronald Phillips, her mother’s boyfriend when she was three-years-old in 1993. Three days after the state of Ohio exacted capital punishment against Phillips, who was executed by lethal injection on July 26, Evan’s family held a balloon launch on Saturday to celebrate her life.

The celebration was held in Lake Milton, OH, which is where Evans’ family originated. Renee Mundell, Evan’s half-sister, described the week as a “roller coaster” of emotions, according to WKBN (NBC4i). Her family has experienced sadness as an effect of the toddler’s death and has felt upbeat about also having the ability to honor Evans’ life.

Victim’s family pleased Ohio governor denied clemency for child killer

Mundell said her family is glad Ohio Governor John Kasich did not grant a reprieve from execution for Phillips. She further stated that Wednesday was justice for Sheila Marie who was born on September 10, 1989. Her family honored the little girl at her headstone, shaped like a teddy bear, in Vaughn Cemetery.

Before 43-year-old Phillips was executed, he finally offered an apology to the toddler’s family, the Chicago Tribune reported. He told them that he was sorry they lived so long with his actions. In his final statement, he also told Evans’ family that the little girl did not “deserve” what he did to her. Mundell said it was the “first apology” her family ever heard from Phillips, also according to the Chicago Tribune.

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Killer’s final morning at state’s ‘Death House’

Phillips execution had been delayed a short time while he met with his brother. His last morning was spent kneeling and Bible reading. JoEllen Smith, the spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, said Phillips was emotional during a visit with a friend and his spiritual adviser.

Before he was pronounced dead at 10:43 in the morning on July 26, Phillips was breathing heavily while his chest and chin only moved a little bit as the injection protocol was administered, the Chicago Tribune reported. He appeared resigned. Phillips looked toward the ceiling and closed his eyes for the final time in his life while at Ohio’s Correctional Facility in Lucasville, which has been dubbed the “Death House.”

Unlike the botched January 2014 execution of Dennis McQuire, who reportedly gasped and choked for 26 minutes following the injection of Ohio’s drug cocktail, it only took Phillips 10 minutes to die. Phillips’ capital punishment was carried out without complications.

Murderer made admissions to police about fatal acts against his victim

Phillips admitted to law enforcement that he beat Evans when she did not respond when he summoned her to breakfast, according to the Chicago Tribune. An autopsy performed after her death on January 18, 1993, revealed over 125 bruises. The autopsy also indicated the toddler was beaten severely on her face, head, legs, and arms. Phillips additionally told police that he raped Evans’ on the day she died, as well as two prior times.

Donna Hudson, the toddler’s aunt, said Sheila Marie can finally rest in peace after nearly 25 years, the Chicago Tribune reported.