Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- Police booked the mother of a 3-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl found dead Wednesday night in a bathtub in Gert Town after they say the mother confessed to killing the children.

Police booked Chelsea Thornton, 23, with two counts of first-degree murder.

Investigators said Thornton admitted to shooting her son and drowning her daughter. The coroner's office identified the victims as Kendall Adams and Kelsey Adams.

Police said she told them she took a bus to a nearby hospital because she said she was suffering from stomach pains and a headache. Just before 11 p.m., she was booked with murder charges.

The bodies were found just after 5:30 p.m. inside a Gert Town apartment in the 3300 block of Audubon Court. The children's grandmother called police to report that a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old were found dead in a bathtub. Minutes later, detectives swarmed the scene.

'She'd walk to school every morning, go pick them up, bring them back home,' said neighbor Douglas Holly. 'When they pass right here, that was the usual as far as I was concerned.'

Holly lives next door and said the mother and two kids moved in about a week ago. The family was new to the neighborhood, stopping to chat with Holly earlier in the evening.

'So when they came by, the kids stopped, they wanted to know what I was doing, and could they do this? I told them, I told the mother, bring them back and I'll show them how to repair a vehicle,' Holly said.

'Terrible, terrible tragedy when children are lost, and we hope to be able to clear this up pretty quickly,' said Superintendent Ronal Serpas on the scene Wednesday.

Serpas was initially tight-lipped about what detectives found inside the apartment.

'But we do expect, however, that the children were murdered,' Serpas said. 'The police officers and detectives very quickly developed information that caused us to detain the children's mother for questioning.'

As relatives of the youngsters mourn the loss of their loved ones, many in this neighborhood are also struggling to figure out why.

'I don't know what happened, but however it happened, somebody gotta be dealt with for this,' Holly said.

WWL-TV broke this story on Twitter in conjunction with our partners at The Uptown Messenger.

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