DARLINGTON, Ind. -- The family of a little girl and boy, who authorities say were killed by their own mother, released a statement Friday about their deaths:
"We are shocked and saddened by the sudden loss of our beloved Tyler and Charlee. They meant the world to our family and words cannot describe our feelings of devastation. We are thankful for the outpouring of support from friends, family, and the community. We will grieve forever the loss of our precious little boy and girl."
Brandi Worley admitted to killing Tyler, 7, and Charlee, 3, according to the Montgomery County Sheriff.
FULL STORY| PC: Mom killed kids; feared husband taking them
In the small community of Darlington with a population under 1,000, neighbors say a crime like this is shocking.
Ron Melvin said he knows the Worleys well.
"That's our son's best friend and she watched our children and we always got along, they're good people," said Melvin.
He said Brandi was known to the community as a good mother and friend.
"I don't see this side of Brandi, she's a great person," said Melvin.
Tyler was a student at Sugar Creek Elementary School and his little sister Charlee hadn't even started school yet.
The North Montgomery Community School Corporation sent a letter home to parents on Thursday informing them of the deaths of the two children with offers of support. They also had grief counselors available for students who may be affected by the tragedy.
Dear North Montgomery Families:
It is with great sadness that I inform you of the sudden loss of Tyler and Charlee Worley. Tyler, age 7, was a student at Sugar Creek Elementary and Charlee, age 3, was not yet enrolled. The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office confirmed this information at 10:00 am.
Today a support team including administrators, counselors, the school resource officer and teachers have been working to provide counseling and support for students.
Your student may arrive home this afternoon with questions and worries about these losses. You can help by simply talking, listening and reassuring them. We do not always know how a student will be affected by such tragedies, but you know your child better than anyone. Please be prepared for your student to do any of the following:
• Claim not to be affected
• Ask a lot of questions
• Act agitated, angry and quick to blame
• Try abnormally hard to be good
• Be withdrawn
• Have bad dreams
Any new loss can bring to the surface past feelings of grief. Even if students do not know the children involved with this situation, it can still bring up past feelings, grief, sadness, anger, etc. We know that grief is ongoing and does not affect any two people in exactly the same way. Please be extra vigilant and attentive to students’ needs. Do not leave grieving children alone. We will do the same at school.
The North Montgomery Schools family extends our heartfelt sympathy to this family. If you have concerns about your child, please do not hesitate to contact the school if you need assistance.
Thank you for your support of our students,
Dr. Colleen Moran
Neighbors say the children were familiar sights in the neighborhood, and Victoria Bussell said she remembers them running around just a few weeks ago on Halloween.
"As far as I know they were a well-rounded family, kids were sweet," said Bussell. "I can't even process that, if there was something wrong I wish she would have said something to somebody, gotten help."
Another neighbor, Cecil Haworth speaks very highly of the entire family. He said he looked forward to seeing the children every morning, and they always knew he would have one of their favorite treats when they saw him.
"Popcicles every morning. I could get a hug and kiss out of them every morning during the summer. I tell ya, it broke our heart when we found out about it this morning," said Haworth.
He said he also helped Tyler and Charlee make their mother a Birthday card, just days before they were killed.
"I know where they've gone, so that's what pays. God's got them, loving them now," said Haworth.
If you are interested in donating money toward the children's funerals, call Burkhart Funeral Home at (765) 362-5510.