Memorial for siblings found in freezer removed; funeral plans set

Neighbors trying to heal after the shocking deaths of two siblings found in a freezer.

And not everyone is happy about the changes made to a makeshift memorial outside the east side residence Mitchelle Blair and her children once lived.

"It's good Friday, do something good," said Carol King, a long-time family friend of Blair.

A single candle burns outside apartment 804 on Good Friday - where neighbors in the east side Martin Luther King Homes can't help but walk by.

"Looking at the balloons, and the animals it was like looking at love," said neighbor Gwen Gaines. "And now it's empty."

"Just walking past it, my heart just drops," said Crystal Cook, one of neighbor children.

The memorial for 13-year-old Stoni Blair and 9-year-old Stephen Berry was removed this week. But those animals serve another purpose now.

King donated them to Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit.

"I kept one, a double bear, they were hugging each other saying I love you," she said. "And that would be Stoni and Stephen for me."

Awaiting two psychiatric evaluations, 35-year-old mother Mitchelle Blair -- known to many as Angel, remains behind bars.

"We didn't know the Mtchelle, we just knew the Angel," Gaines said.

She's charged with first degree murder, torture, child abuse after court officers discovered Stephen, 9, and Stoni, 13, hidden in her deep freezer. 

Police say her two surviving children endured abuse for years.

Eddie Williams, 10, took a teddy bear to remember his friend, Stephen Berry this Good Friday, also trying to recall good memories.

"I keep seeing the babies' faces and them playing," Cook said. "I see Angel smiling, being nice."

"I pray on it," Gaines said. "And to know that this woman has been in my house, I've been around her for 16 years and didn't really know who she was."

But those feelings of loss and heartbreak remain, for many.

"When I know people that died, it makes me sad and angry," said Crystal.

They say they will continue to pray for those children, their family, their community.

"When I cry and I pray, I pray for them all," King said. "And even the children I don't know that are being abused right now."

As the community tries to move forward, funeral arrangements are scheduled for Greater Grace Temple in Detroit, 23500 W. Seven Mile Road April 13.

The viewing will be held at 10 a.m. with an 11 a.m. service.
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