Candlelight vigil held for missing children

VANCLEAVE, MS (WLOX) - Vancleave residents will hold a candlelight vigil Tuesday night to remember the two missing Alabama children feared dead and  believed to be buried in Jackson County.

Kim Mallett told WLOX news Monday, "Somebody needs to pray for the babies."

Five-year-old Natalie DeBlase and her brother three-year-old Chase were reported missing this summer from Mobile, Alabama.

The children's father and step-mother have been arrested in connection with their disappearance.

Investigators said John Deblase told them he buried his children in the woods in Vancleave after their step-mother, Heather Keaton, killed them.

DeBlase is charged with two counts of child abuse and two counts of abuse of a corpse.

Keaton was arrested last week in Kentucky and is also charged with child abuse.

Over the weekend, investigators from Alabama and Mississippi scoured the woods off Highway 57 about 12 miles north of Vancleave, but found nothing.

The tragedy sparked a lot of messages on Facebook over the weekend, according to Mallett who is organizing the candlelight vigil.

"That kind of thing doesn't happen in Vancleave," Mallett told WLOX News.

The candlelight vigil is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Mallett Arena on Ballfield Road in Vancleave.

Sunday, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd suspended the search until more specific information on a possible location comes to light.

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