GREENVILLE CO., S.C. (WSPA) – Funeral arrangements have been announced for two young children and the mother accused of killing them before turning the gun on herself.
Police say 36-year-old Jessica Edens shot and killed 28-year-old Meredith Leigh Rahme in a downtown Greenville parking garage on Thursday. After killing Rahme, authorities say Edens drove to the Greenville-Pickens Speedway where she took the lives of her two children before killing herself.
The children have been identified as 9-year-old Hayden King and 4-year-old Harper Edens.
Authorities have said a domestic dispute between Jessica Edens and her estranged husband led to the killings.
Hayden King was a rising fourth-grade student at Forest Acres Elementary School where his little sister was expected to start school later this year.
The families of Hayden King and Jessica Edens will receive friends from 1 until 3 p.m. Monday at Sullivan-King Mortuary Chapel.
Funeral services for Hayden King will be held at 3 p.m. Burial will follow in Greenville Memorial Gardens.
Flowers are optional, and memorials may be made to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Carolinas (706 Grove Road, Greenville, SC 29605).
A service to celebrate Harper Edens’ life will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 18th, in the chapel of Dillard Funeral Home. Her burial will be private.
A celebration of Jessica Edens’ life will be held at a later date.
Pickens County Schools released the following statement regarding the children’s passing:
Our district is shaken by the death of two children and a parent in the Forest Acres school community. Hayden King was a rising fourth grader at Forest Acres Elementary School, and his sister, Harper Edens, was enrolled to begin kindergarten this fall. Our prayers and condolences go out to their family, their friends, their classmates, and our educators who were touched by their lives.
At this time, plans for a vigil or memorial involving the school community have not been arranged. We will work with the school to communicate information if and when such an event is planned.
Forest Acres Elementary’s principal and two of Hayden King’s teachers have allowed me to share their thoughts with the media. Their statements are included below.
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic incident that took the life of one of our students. Hayden always had a smile for his teachers and friends. He will be remembered as a happy, caring child who was full of joy. We were looking forward to serving his younger sister, Harper, in Kindergarten in August. Please continue to pray for the families impacted as well as students and staff of Forest Acres.” — Darian Byrd, Forest Acres Elementary Principal
“Hayden was a sweet child who had a bright smile that lit up the room. He was a hardworking and an inquisitive student who always wanted to do his best. He gave 100% every day. He will be deeply missed.” — Cindi Fogle, Third Grade Teacher
“Hayden was a hard-working, caring student who loved others. He always went out of his way to help his classmates in their time of need. He impacted my life greatly as his teacher, and he will be deeply missed.” — Kelleigh Barner, Second Grade Teacher
Here is the link to the King family’s YouCaring page.
You can leave a message of condolence for the family by clicking here.
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