HOUSTON Family, firefighters and friends gathered Friday to mourn the loss of two victims of a Houston day care fire.

Kendyll Stradford and Elias Castillo were two of four children who died after a blaze at a home day care facility in west Houston last week.

A funeral service for Stradford, who was 20 months old when she died, was held at 10 a.m. at the Forest Park Funeral Home on Westheimer.

Deedra Toney is friends with the Stradford family and came to say goodbye to Kendyll.

She was a beautiful little girl, beautiful full of life really, really happy, said Toney. It s really hard to process because you know seeing that they re small and helpless you know.

Kendyll s 8-year-old brother, Bryce, and many others were dressed in purple at the service.

Kenya Stradford, Kendyll s mom, said she asked attendees to wear purple because it was her daughter s favorite color.

Castillo, who was 18 months old, was laid to rest in a private ceremony at Memorial Oaks on the Katy Freeway a few hours after Stradford's funeral.

While the community grieved for the children, an international manhunt was under way for the woman who was supposed to be watching the children when the fire started.

Day care operator Jessica Tata, 22, is facing 10 criminal charges in connection with the deadly blaze.

Police say Tata left seven children alone in the day care while she went to the store. When she returned, the facility was burning.

Tata is believed to have fled to Nigeria two days after the fire.

On Thursday, 3-year-old Shomari Dickerson was laid to rest.

Funeral services for the fourth victim, 20-month-old Elizabeth Kajoh, were scheduled for Saturday.

Click here for memorial fund information forthe victims.

Read or Share this story: