"Sweet loving person, never bothered anybody. Definitely don't understand why this would happen. Can't wrap my mind around it. Just shock, hurt, disbelief," says John Fletcher, first cousin to Atira Hughes-Smith.
Fletcher and another cousin, Kizzie Boggans, struggle to come to terms with the sudden loss of their Atira and her 7-year-old son, Jaidon.
"He has the same name as my nephew, and we used to pick at, he loved the fact that his name was Jaidon and my nephew's name was Jaidon, they were family. Very fun baby. Fun child. Love him to death. Love Atira to death," Boggans says.
The story of the mother and son who went to a trick-or-treat event in Flowood friday night, then, along with the boy's stepfather, met with tragedy over the weekend, has even attracted national attention. A CNN crew visited Atira's mother's home in Brandon as family members filed in and out, embraced, and shared memories.
Atira had just recently begun to work as a certified nursing assistant at UMC. There seemed to be some concern for Atira during that Halloween event, according to cousin Rodney Williams.
"That's one of the last time one of her friends was talking to her, say I'm ok, I'm ok, so we still don't know," Williams says.
None of Atira's close friends and family seem to know anything about Timothy Burns, the Jackson man arrested for their murders.
"I don't know him. He may have known the dad. But not Atira. I'm just getting information, I don't know," Fletcher says.
"Atira, caught up in wrong people, wrong crowd, I don't know. She's innocent in all this. Jaidon is innocent," adds Boggans.
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