Hundreds attend vigil for slain Baytown teens

April 13, 2010 10:36:48 AM PDT
Hundreds of people gathered outside a Baytown home Monday to support the family of two teenage cousins who were found dead inside the burning house. The bodies were discovered at the home on Lloyd at Garth in Baytown Sunday morning. From the front, the home appears nearly undamaged, except for plywood covering windows and a makeshift memorial created in the driveway.

It's the kind of grief for which there are no words, only tears, heart-wrenching sobs and a question that, for now, has no answer.

The victims' grandmother Judy Lewis said, "Someone called me and told me my daughter needed me. I came over. ... My children were in the house."

Lewis lost two granddaughters Sunday morning. Chelsea Lang and Ashley Johnson were both 17 years old and both high school juniors in Baytown. Ashley was spending the night with her first cousin. Chelsea's mother and teenage brother were both away for the evening.

"They were like heaven-sent. The best thing that could have ever happened to us," said Victoria Wiley, Lang's mother.

At 6:30am Sunday, neighbors called 911 after seeing smoke coming from the family's home. Firefighters found the bodies of the two girls in a front bedroom and signs that the fire had been intentionally set.

"I really don't know what happened but I wish they could be found," said Daisha Wiley, a sister of one of the victims. "They really weren't no harm to nobody."

Said to have been found in a yard on the same street were a gasoline container and a baseball bat. Now it's become potential evidence in what's considered a double murder.

Lt. Eric Freed with the Baytown Police told Eyewitness News there's some DNA evidence on the bat. Police have what are called several persons of interest, but no one has been detained and no arrests have been made. It's an investigation in progress, but for a family it is a deep, incomprehensible loss.

"I know we can't bring them back, but we need closure, we need closure," Wiley said

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers in Baytown. All tips can remain anonymous.


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