Family and friends on Monday remembered the lives of two children found dead in an apparent murder-suicide in their Fort Hood residence Jan. 21.
A series of photos of Leila Ezzeddine, 9, and Zeinab Ezzeddine, 4, played on TV screens in the Crawford-Bowers Funeral Home Chapel in Killeen, showing two happy children. The photos showed the girls swimming and playing with horses, always smiling.
“They were so beautiful, so cheerful and girly,” recalled their uncle, Jose Santisteban, during the service. “These angels came to this world to put a smile on my sister, to put a smile on me.”
The two sisters died Jan. 21 in their home in what Army investigators said was an apparent murder-suicide involving their father, Rouhad Ahamd Ezzeddine, 43, who was found dead. All three were Army dependents.
The girls’ mother, Pfc. Carla Santisteban, 33, is assigned to 15th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. The family commended the Army on its support for Santisteban.
“This is a terrible tragedy for the mother and families of these children. We are doing everything possible to care for the family in this time of profound grief and loss,” said Maj. Gen. Anthony Ierardi, 1st Cavalry commander.
A post on Santisteban’s Facebook page that reads “In Fort Hood!!!” was made hours before the three were found dead. The page includes numerous photos of her daughters.
Army investigators said the deaths were possibly the result of a “murder-suicide” involving the husband and the two children, but added that it would not make a full determination until the investigation is completed.
Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here. You can contact Rose L. Thayer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.