Vigil held for slain Fayetteville children

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Balloons were released.

Members of the community, preachers and even the sheriff joined together in prayer on Saturday to pray over the loss of two little girls found dead one week ago.

On Saturday, March 25, Hoke County deputies found the bodies of two-year-old Serenity Freeman and four-day-old Genesis Freeman. They were in a parked car in a wooded area near N.C. Highway 211 and Army Road in Raeford. Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said they had been stabbed multiple times.

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Those on scene said the discovery sent a hush over everyone there. Days later, a woman named Tashina Singletary said she drove by the site, was overcome with tears, and felt compelled to reach out to the sheriff to organize a community prayer vigil. The sheriff reached out to Candace Freeman, the girls' mother who agreed to the vigil.

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Hoke county residents were invited to gather at the Old Armory Ball Park. Together they prayed and released purple balloons, Freeman's favorite color. Freeman sat on stage with her young son and family as the sheriff addressed the crowd. The family wore T-shirts with photos of Genesis and Serenity. Sheriff Peterkin even ditched his own uniform to wear one of the shirts.

Before the vigil began, Peterkin addressed the media. He said while he is used to crime scenes, this one hit him and his deputies, especially hard.

"Actually going into the crime scene which is not unusual for me because I'm a cop first, I didn't expect to see what I saw, as tragic as it was. So I found myself in this situation needing a little bit more," said Sheriff Peterkin.
The girls' father, Tillman Freeman has since been charged with their murders.

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The sheriff said there was a fight about between the two parents before the children were killed. He said Tillman Freeman was questioning whether the children were his and became angry.

Tillman Freeman


A gofundme page was set up to help with funeral costs and to help the mother who has been a stay at home mom. People have already donated more than twice the goal amount.

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