Funeral service held for children found in mother's freezer

Hundreds attended Monday's funeral service for two siblings found in their mother's freezer March 24.
Two children were given a proper burial Monday, three weeks after being found in their mother's freezer.

Family, friends and strangers came to honor Stoni Blair and her brother Stephen Berry at their funeral at Detroit Greater Grace Temple, while their mother sits in jail accused of killing them.

Raindrops fell as two small caskets were lifted out. One light pink holding Blair, 13,  and another, light gray for Berry, 9, known to many as "Honey bear" and "little man," laid to rest Monday morning.

"I can't even begin to explain this horrific pain," said Michelle Barnett, speaking for the families at the church service. "Thank you for each and every prayer, every donation, every encouraging word, every handshake."

Their bodies were discovered March 24. Their mother, 35-year-old Mitchelle Blair, has been charged with murder, while court documents detail years of alleged abuse. 

Many at the service were asking what could have been done to save Stoni and Stephen.

"Where was the village when these children needed them most," said Bishop Charles Ellis of Greater Grace Temple. "And that includes the church, the social system, Child Protective Services, the mental health agencies."

"We must find a law, a law that will go into the homes, and monitor when kids are not going to school," said Brenda Jones of the Detroit City Council. 

As their bodies were carried away, fallen tears mix with raindrops.

"I love them and I miss them," said Gwen Gaines, a neighbor and friend of the Mitchelle Blair.

"My heart is broken," said Maurice Hardwick. a pastor. "But I am encouraged with the outpouring to this family."

Now the Department of Human Services is attempting to terminate the parental rights of Blair and determine the rights of both fathers of the two surviving children.

"I pray that they can get beyond this and lead productive lives," said Angela Gordon, the great aunt of Stephen and Stoni.

Those remembering Stoni and Stephen  also are praying for a brighter future for Blair's two other children.

Gordon says Blair's two surviving children are back in school and they love it. 

If you'd like to show your support, donations can still be made at any Bank of America under the Blair children. 

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