Woman trying to get back to Newtown, reminded of her beautiful times there

by: Natalie Pasquarella Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

A Charlotte woman is trying to get back to Newtown, Conn., on Monday night.

She lived there for years, and knows some of the victims' families.

"These are just some of Newtown memories," said Dina Dimartino as her daughter, Sydney, looked through old photos laid out in their Ballantyne home.

They are reminded of the beautiful times that they spent in Newtown.

"Playing Newtown soccer and having birthday parties," said Dimartino.

She and her husband raised three children in the small town for 10 years before moving to Charlotte.

She still has family and friends there and still receives school and community emails, which is how she found out about the tragic school massacre.

"I believe it was an email from the superintendent that there's a possible shooting and schools are on lockdown. And then probably 10 minutes later I got an email from my  sister-in-law saying my niece and nephew are safe," said Dimartino.

Dimartino immediately started calling and texting friends only to find out she knew one of the victims.

"One of my coworkers lost her daughter, and I remember her aunt works in my office, and I remember helping her a few years ago, helping her pick out her Christmas gift, so it hits home, it really hits home," said Dimartino.

Dimartino and her daughter are now focusing on getting flights to Newton to help however they can.

For now, they are remembering the lives lost on their Christmas tree, with 26 butterfly ornaments for each life lost.

"So it's something to remember, remember these beautiful children and these heroes that protected our children to the best that they could," said Dimartino.