Nga Nguyen broke down in tears as she talked about her two nieces and sister-in-law killed last Thursday. Nguyen says she loved the girls' innocence, and they had so much to look forward to in life.
The Nguyen family moved to Biloxi from Viet Nam in 1997. Nga Nguyen says when she travelled to Viet Nam, she saw how sweet her nieces were, and convinced their parents to move to the United States, so the girls can go to school here.
The parents, Hung Nguyen and Hieu Huynh, worked in a seafood processing plant. Hung eventually found work as a housekeeper at a Biloxi casino hotel. His wife got a job at a nail salon. The two girls took longer adjusting to their new home.
Nga Nguyen says everybody called the girls bunny rabbits, because when anybody would look at them, they would run and hide. They were so shy and quiet. But the girls quickly picked up the English language and excelled in school.
Hang, the 15-year-old, made many friends. Her younger sister, 11-year-old Truc, loved animals. Nguyen says whenever Truc found a stray, a chicken, a bird, or a bunny, she'd bring it home.
The Nguyen family moved to their St. Martin home in April. Nga Nguyen shows a picture of Hang and Truc, taken Halloween night, one day before the girls and their mother were found murdered in their new house. Nga Nguyen says their father lost everything, his wife, his children, his livelihood, he lost it all.
Family members say they try to stay close to him, to comfort him and tell him that his wife and children are no longer suffering. The Nguyen family says the deaths of their loved ones have brought them closer together, and that strong bond is helping them deal with their grief.
The loss the family suffered is overwhelming, but they hope something good will come from this tragedy. Nga Nguyen says the two children are gone, there's no way to bring them back. All she asks is that people who want to do bad things to please stop and think. She pleads with them not to hurt the children, because they are helpless.
The wake for the victims is set for Friday at 2:00 p.m., at Bradford O'Keefe Funeral Home in Biloxi. The family will be cremated and their ashes sent back to Viet Nam to be with family members there.
Two Biloxi men are in jail accused of the crime. Thong Le, 19, and Ngan Tran, 27, are charged with three counts of capital murder.
The deaths of the two girls also stunned many students and teachers in Jackson County. Truc attended St. Martin Middle School. Hang went to St. Martin Junior High. Their family didn't have insurance. So some students at the Middle School wanted to help the family pay for the funeral and other expenses by setting up a benefit account.
Teacher Sandra Williams says several students approached her about doing something to help the family, like buying flowers or holding a car wash to raise money. They agreed that opening a benefit account at a bank would be best. Anyone who would like to contribute to the benefit fund for the Nguyen family can donate at any branch of Hancock Bank.