Hundreds of family members and friends gathered Monday as they laid to rest their "Coronado Angels," three young Southern California girls who died last month, allegedly at the hands of their mother.
The girls' mother, 30-year-old Carol Coronado, pleaded not guilty to murder charges last week in the slayings of her three girls, 2-year-old Sophia, 1-year-old Yazmine and 3-month-old Xenia.
Coronado is accused of stabbing the children to death before trying to kill her own mother and then herself in their Torrance home on May 20, police said.
"They were so beautiful, so little, so innocent, so much fun, so full of life," the girls' godfather John Carrion said. "It's just a shame that they had to go this way."
Family members at the mass said they hoped the girls would be remembered as the innocent, happy babies they would always cherish.
"They all had their own personalities, but they were always happy," the girls' godmother Rose Deleon said. "They were always happy, they were always laughing, they were always playing with each other."
After the Monday mass in Gardena, the girls, called the "Coronado Angels," were laid to rest at the burial site in Rancho Palos Verdes.
"Look up at the sky at night," said the girls' father, Rudy Coronado. "When you see the three shiniest stars, that's them."
"Now they are everybody's babies, you know, not just ours," Carrion said. "They are going to bring a lot of things together. I'm hurting because they're gone, but I'm so glad that it's not going to be in vain."
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The family has set up the Coronado Angel Fund to help with other costs and for bringing awareness to postpartum depression.
"We wanted to draw attention to the issue of postpartum depression and psychosis," family attorney Stephen Allen said during Carol's court appearance on May 29. "I think that more needs to be done to diagnose this type of disorder."
A family spokesperson said Carol showed signs of postpartum depression but her family did not know how to recognize the signs or how to help at the time.
Anyone who wants to contribute can donate to the Coronado Angel Fund with Wells Fargo account number 3842930731.