(WJBK) - A man who lost his two young children when their mother killed them and then herself says they will live on through him.
Nikita Landrum, drove her 3-year-old daughter, Mikayla, and 2-year-old son, DJ, 100 miles from the home in Metro Detroit to a remote area of Bay City where she shot and killed them both and then herself.
Dariel Walker is the father of children and on that February morning, he got the worst news of his life.
"I received a phone call that no parent wants to receive, I received a phone call that my children's lives were taken," Walker said.
His angels were gone.
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"Not being able to put the kids to sleep, not being able to hug them, not being able to sing to my daughter before she goes to sleep. Sometimes I just go in their rooms and I sit there," he said.
Walker believes mental illness was the underlying issue.
"I can't say that she has ever been diagnosed by a doctor but I can tell you that she loved her kids and there is no way she would have done something like this consciously," he said.
There have been some dark days for Dariel but he's channeling all of this heartache to raise awareness for mental illness. It came out of a promise he made when he saw his children for the first time at the funeral home.
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"The first thing I did when I saw my kids they were laying on the table together I put my hand on both of them I kissed them both and said I love you and the next thing I said was my kids are not dead they are going to continue to live through me and I promised that," Walker said.
Now he's trying to spark a social media movement. My Little Champions is based on videos of positive affirmations he did with his children.
"When you're practicing positive affirmations on a daily basis and you continue to do it on a daily basis it has a lasting effect on your life it," Walker said.
He's encouraging people to post their positive affirmations on his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts - May is Mental Health Awareness month. He said this is his way of making a mark on this world, in honor of his children.
"When I see those videos posted on there it does a great deal to help me it puts me in a better place and it helps me to continue on so I appreciate everyone for doing it," Walker said. "I can't stay in this dark place I need to get up and I need to live for MC and DJ."
If you want to post a video on Dariel's pages, pick one of the following: