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Jodi Arias (Source: CBS 5 News)
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
It was an emotional homegoing celebration for 9-year-old twins Taylor and Jordan Dejerinett Monday afternoon.
"It touched me when I saw their pictures. I said "Oh my God, those are my children!" So it's been hard," Joyce Collins of the Central Alabama Opportunity Industrial Relations Daycare Center said.
There was a packed sanctuary of family, church family, friends, city and school officials and even strangers like Paul Menifee.
"It's just really sad, and I just thought I may be able to be a blessing to someone, so I wanted to come on," Menifee explained.
Many in attendance say they were saddened by the tragedy and wanted to show support for the family. The family dressed in white to symbolize their two little angels are now in Heaven.
"My heart is just full today. My grandfather and I had to go down to the funeral home and we had to identify the bodies. And when we got there...you don't want to see what's in that casket," Pastor Willie Moorer said. Moorer is the twins' great uncle.
The twins' aunt Yalise Jones read Christian creeds that she says the twins read daily. School officials and church members reflected on the twins' love for learning and God.
"They were always eager to become a part of whatever you asked them to do," Maranatha Seventh Day Adventist Church Children's Ministry Leader Jacqueline Foster said. Marantha was the twins' family church.
"We want you to know that we thoroughly enjoyed Taylor and Jordan; excited, yes they were," Floyd Elementary Principal Cheryl Coprich said. The twins were third graders at the school.
73-year-old Jac Mac Girdner was the other victim in this triple homicide. His pastor, Richard Halversen of Montgomery First Seven-day Adventist Church, shared words of comfort to the family.
"And this was a terrible, devastating thing, and we want to be here to support this family. This is a reminder of the bad, bad world we live in, but we serve a good, good God," he said.
Several ministers, family members and even Montgomery Police Chief Kevin Murphy shared words of encouragement.
"I can't stop thinking about your children. This is heart-breaking. This has affected us deeply. Chief Mitchell and I have had a lot of conversations about this, and it's not my place to question or judge, but I have to sometimes wonder why," Chief Murphy said.
And many are still wondering why. Suspected killer Deandra Lee maintains his innocence. Investigators say Lee killed the twins and their elderly caregiver Jac Mac Girdner. Police have not identified any motive or if there is any connection or relation to Lee and the twins' mother, Terrye Moore, or the twins.
"I know a lot of people are talking about how the mother showed little to no emotion during her interview, she wasn't crying, she didn't seem upset. But when you know that your kids are in the Lord's hands, you don't have to worry or cry," Pastor Moorer said.
June 3rd: The twins' mother said she went to Girdner house Sunday night to pick up her kids, and no one was home.
June 4th: A statewide alert and search was launched to find the "missing" trio. The same day, WSFA 12 News interviewed Moore.
June 5th: All three bodies were discovered on a dirt road off of Alabama 21, just miles from Girdner's house on Lake Ridge Road in Hope Hull. That same day, investigators identified 22-year-old Deandra Lee as a person of interest and a search was launched to find him.
June 6th: Girdner's missing 1988 Mercedes Benz was recovered in the Minter Community in Dallas County. All four doors were missing.
June 7th-June 8th: The search continued for Lee. The Lowdnes County District Attorney filed and signed three murder charges against him. He is now considered "an armed and dangerous suspect."
June 9th: Lee was captured in a Selma apartment complex.
June 11th: Victims Taylor and Jordan Dejerinett are laid to rest. Lee's bond is set at $3 million in cash.
The family says it will take their faith, support from family and the community to get through this tragedy.
Pastor Halversen says Girdner's family is still working to finalize funeral arrangements.
Mr. Girdner's brother said the family appreciates thoughts from everyone as final arrangements are made.