Two Brooksville children were remembered at a vigil tonight; deputies say their dad murdered them
9:55 PM, Nov 1, 2013
12:56 AM, Nov 2, 2013
HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla -
Two children allegedly murdered by their father before he took his own life were remembered tonight at a candlelight vigil.
More than 100 people gathered at Chocachatti Elementary School in Brooksville.
Some wore shirts with pictures of the siblings, 7-year-old Sebastian and 8-year-old Susana.
Others like second grader Justin Astringer, a friend of Sebastian's, brought balloons. Astringer hand-picked his.
"I think Hello Kitty would be perfect for Susana and I think Sebastian would like Batman," he explained.
Astringer remembers Susana would always wear pink and black glasses to school and how Sebastian always wanted to help others.
"He was very smart and good and he helped us with a lot of class work," Justin said.
Justin, alongside his mother, released the balloons during the vigil.
"We want to send them to heaven," explained Lisa Astringer. "[This week] it's been really tough."
Hernando County deputies found Daniel A. Castrillon-Oreggo, 39, and his two children dead of gunshot wounds in their home on Nodding Shade Drive in the Trillium Subdivision in Spring Hill Sunday night.
In a press conference Monday morning, Nienhuis said a "domestic violence situation turned deadly and took some innocent lives."
Castrillon picked up his children from his estranged wife, Luz Jimenez, 34, on Friday for visitation.
When Jimenez was unable to locate Castrillon-Oreggo or the children Sunday, she called authorities.
Jimenez had filed for divorce from Castrillon-Oreggo on October 12.
Jimenez was not at the vigil. However, a close friend spoke on the absent mother's behalf.
"Celebrate their lives tonight and just keep them in your heart," said Eileen, an organizer and close friend of Jimenez. "Just remember that they were loved."
Ramona Martinez decided to celebrate their lives by bringing dozens of pink and blue balloons, the favorite colors of the siblings.
"We haven't forgotten them and we are letting them know that we will always remember them," explained Martinez.
Torrie Hattaway, a teammate of Susana's on the cheer squad, wants her friend remembered for her smile.
"She was fun and like energetic and and she always was smiling," Hattaway said with tears in her eyes.
According to Hattaway's grandmother, the girls on the squad treated Susana like a little sister.
"It is just upsetting because we were all very close to her," said Lucy Daley. "She was the youngest one on our team. So, everyone supported her and helped her learn."
Jimenez sent word through her friend of how she is choosing to remember her babies.
"Sebastian and Susy were really loved . She doesn't want anybody to cry. She says that her babies are happy and they are happy flying in heaven," Eileen added.
Grief counselors have been at the elementary school since Monday. School district officials say the counselors will be on hand as long as their needed.