Homicide

Service planned for 6-year-old girl who was stabbed to death

  • In a Monday, Sept. 12, 2016 photo, Seth Willis Pickering, 36, appears with LeeAnn Melton, Buncombe County public defender, in Buncombe County Court in Ashland, NC.  Pickering is charged first-degree murder in the death of his 6-year-old daughter, Lila Pickering. Pickering said he killed his daughter so that no one could take her from him again, a federal agent says in an affidavit.
(Tonya Maxwell/Asheville Citizen-Times via AP)

    In a Monday, Sept. 12, 2016 photo, Seth Willis Pickering, 36, appears with LeeAnn Melton, Buncombe County public defender, in Buncombe County Court in Ashland, NC. Pickering is charged first-degree murder in the death of his 6-year-old daughter, Lila Pickering. Pickering said he killed his daughter so that no one could take her from him again, a federal agent says in an affidavit. (Tonya Maxwell/Asheville Citizen-Times via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Lila Pickering is seen in an undated photo provided by Stacia Harris. Seth Willis Pickering, Lola's father, is accused of stabbing her to death on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. Pickering  told police that he killed his daughter so that no one could take her from him again, a federal agent says in an affidavit. Pickering had arrived for a supervised visit with Lila, then took her without the custodian's permission, the affidavit says.  (Stacia Harris via AP)

    Lila Pickering is seen in an undated photo provided by Stacia Harris. Seth Willis Pickering, Lola's father, is accused of stabbing her to death on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. Pickering told police that he killed his daughter so that no one could take her from him again, a federal agent says in an affidavit. Pickering had arrived for a supervised visit with Lila, then took her without the custodian's permission, the affidavit says. (Stacia Harris via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A memorial service will be held Saturday for the 6-year-old girl who was stabbed to death on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.

The celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday for Lila Pickering, whose father is charged with stabbing her in the chest on Sept. 9 as two park rangers approached them. The service will be held at Biltmore Church in Asheville.

The Rev. Jeremy Woods says he recalls Lila as having "an unforgettable smile."

Lila's father, 36-year-old Seth Willis Pickering, faces state and federal murder charges in his daughter's death. A federal court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 5.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports Lila had been in the temporary custody of caretakers for about a month amid a custody dispute between her parents.