Community rallies for families of children found in freezer

Candles, prayers and song. 

A community came together Friday night to remember two children found inside their mother's freezer.

The east side candlelight vigil was organized by family, friends and Detroit council member Mary Sheffield to honor Stoni Blair, 13 and her brother Stephen Berry, 9. 

Both children were found Tuesday by a bailiff, while their mother, Mitchelle Blair, 35, confessed to police when she was arrested. Autopsies showed that the children were tortured for years before being killed.

Prayers and tears flowed as a large crowd huddled in pain. The vigil blossomed out from the front door of the Martin Luther King townhouse where Blair and her children lived.

"It is our responsibility as adults driving parents to save all children," said Angela Gordon, the children's great aunt. "If you know something, see something, think of something, don't be afraid to speak it."

Fighting back tears, Gordon spoke for the family at the vigil. Gordon, a retired 26 year Child abuse investigator with the Detroit Police Department, told FOX 2 earlier in the week that she was helping the family financially until the her niece, Blair, became estranged and isolated. 

"Once you've been shut out, what can you do?" she said. "Yes we do spot-checks, talk to neighbors, confirm they still live there, and confirm that they've been seen. All these things I did. 

"There was no indication that anything was terribly wrong. As far as I knew, she was through with me."

Many women who are mothers, and not related to the family, say they felt compelled to attend.

"I really just pray for their souls to go to heaven," said Tia Deforrest. "I am praying for the other two children to be able to live productive lives."

"This was such a heartbreaking thing," said Angelique Mitchell. "We are suffering. So we've lost our humanity. When they're locking their children in walls and torturing their children, you just have to come and pray.

"That's all we can do."

Those attending said prayers for Stoni and Stephen and for the two siblings that Gordon is now caring for in her home. 

"These actions were calculated, cunning, meted out with insanity," Gordon said. "All involved need help. I pray that my niece gets the psychiatric care that she so desperately needs."

A balloon launch came at the vigil's conclusion.

The family is pulling together the resources and checking with a bank to set up an account. 

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