HIDDENITE, N.C. (WBTV) - The triple murder in Alexander County is sending shock waves through the community.
Investigators say a mother and her two children were killed and then their home set on fire.
The kids, Angel, 11, and America, 13, Pacheco, were remembered along with their mother, Maria Calderon, Friday night as the community rallied together to try and begin to heal.
“Every day they played together every day they spent together was made creating memories,” said LeAnn Sparks, the mother of a child who was best friends with Angel.
Memories shared by this crowd gathered at Hiddenite Elementary, where 11-year-old Angel and 13-year-old America went to school.
“America would stop by every day at the lunch table and give her a big hug every day,” said Pam Jolly, an educator at Hiddenite Elementary.
A big hug with this smile, said teachers and friends who remembered the 13-year-old as bubbly and sweet, heading into 6th grade.
11-year-old Angel’s friends said he played soccer and was super funny and smart.
“I wish I could just hug him one more time,” said one child who was best friends with Angel.
But there are no more hugs from Angel, America or their mother.
Court documents say the kids were shot in their home before it was set on fire.
Their bodies were burned beyond recognition.
Their mother, Maria Calderon, was allegedly run over by a car then dumped into the Catawba River.
“How do you explain that people are that cruel in such a small community?” said Sparks. “I had to explain to my 9-year old-son who is losing a best friend since kindergarten, you don’t have to be old, you don’t have to be sick, you don’t have to make bad choices.”
That community came together at the kids school today to write notes to them on these tables, pray and sing songs to begin to heal.
“This was amazing. I think the turnout spoke volumes of the type of individuals that Angel, America and Maria were,” said Sparks.
There is one other vigil planned for this Sunday at 5pm on the Courthouse Grounds in Taylorsville.