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Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- An intimate candlelight vigil was held on Thursday night to remember two toddlers allegedly killed by their mother.

Police say Chelsea Thornton confessed to shooting and drowning her kids inside the family's Gert town apartment. However, some relatives question that confession.

'Lord bless these families,' was part of the prayer that filled the neighborhood where Chelsea Thornton lived with her two kids.

Stuffed animals and signs are lined up along the staircase leading up to Thornton's apartment, where detectives say the young mother ended her toddlers lives.

Police say the 23-year-old confessed to shooting her 3-year-old son, Kendall, and drowning her 4-year-old daughter, Kelsey, in the family's bathtub.

'Its a sad loss. We have to grieve for the kids. We also have to grieve for Chelsea,' said Erika Gaddies, who identified herself as a family member.

A week later after the horrific crime, relatives and the community-at-large remain stunned by their violent deaths.

'She would have kept them from being harmed instead of hurting them. So I don't believe nothing that they're saying, that she did it,' said Charlene Blakes, another family member attending the vigil.

Thornton's mother tells Eyewitness News that her daughter suffers from bipolar schizophrenia and wasn't taking her medication when her kids were murdered last Wednesday.

'The most important thing is that Chelsea gets help, and maybe this is awareness in the city for other parents who may be going through the same issue. Maybe someone can learn from this and we don't have to do this again,' said Gaddies.

State Rep. Austin Badon, D-New Orleans, also paid his respects. He blames Gov. Bobby Jindal's cuts to mental health services for this latest tragedy.

'The governor cannot cut services that people need. The governor cannot continue to make people in this state bleed services that are crucial,' Badon said.

Sentiments echoed by a family left to mourn so much.

'It's terrible how this all ended up and it could have been avoided,' said Blakes.

A funeral service for both children is scheduled for tomorrow morning at New Home Full Gospel Ministries, 1616 Carondelet Street.

Visitation is scheduled for 9 a.m. and the service will start at 11 a.m.

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