MITCHELL, Ind. — A small town in Indiana is coping with the murder of two young children.
State police say 33-year-old Brittany Medina was arrested for the deaths of a one-year-old and three-year-old in Mitchell on Tuesday. Right now, investigators have not confirmed Medina’s relation to the kids.
Community members put together a prayer vigil on Wednesday night to help support the family of the two toddlers killed. FOX59/CBS4 spoke with the grandmother of Maddy and Jackson, the two young children who were killed.
Their grandmother said she has been shaken to her core, and right now she is seeking privacy and prayers from the community. People living in the area said they too are feeling a similar pain.
“You hear about these things all the time, but you never think it can be you or your community,” said Alyssa Robbins, who organized Wednesday night’s vigil. “To know it’s so close makes you want to hug your own babies tighter, and just the family and loved ones in general.”
Behind each flickering candle at the vigil, it was clear why many living in the area consider Mitchell to be such a close-knit community. Robbins said the town will continue to support the family during this difficult time.
“We just wanted to love the family,” she said. “To show them, I’m sure they just feel so alone in this moment, and to show them how much support and love and that we’re just all there for them day and night, whenever, whatever they need.”
The family of the two toddlers killed says the support helps, but right now, it is still hard to comprehend such a tragic loss.
“They were just precious, precious angels,” described grandmother Denise McCormick. “They were just babies. The little one-year-old had a beautiful smile on her face all the time. She was never angry. They were babies.”
Police arrested Medina at a home Tuesday afternoon for the murders of one-year-old Maddy and two-year-old Jackson. According to Indiana State Police, the two were found dead inside the home.
ISP said the incident is still under investigation and has not yet released how the children died and the relationship between Medina and the children. But Denise McCormick said Medina was the children’s mother. Despite such an unthinkable action, she said the family is praying for her.
“She did wrong, she killed my grandkids, but she has a mental illness,” McCormick said, as she wiped away tears. “We just ask for prayers from everybody.”
As songs echoed out during Wednesday’s vigil, the family said they want each person to hold on tightly to those they love most.
“All families, just hug their kids tonight and pray they have to never go through this,” said family member Alicia Parish. “It is hard, it is disheartening and I am just thankful for the prayers.”
Right now the family asks for privacy and for all rumors and misinformation within the community to come to an end. They also encourage families to always gather around and support loved ones with mental illness as much as possible.
Medina is currently being held in the Lawrence County jail without bond. The Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office said more information will be released on Thursday afternoon.