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Girls' deaths draw a torrent of sympathy

By Susan Simpson Modified: June 11, 2008 at 12:34 am •  Published: June 11, 2008
The Mitchell family of North Little Rock, Ark., likely never met Taylor Paschal-Placker. But news of her death and that of a young friend touched them greatly.

"Every human's heart must be breaking at this moment in time,” the Mitchells wrote on the online guestbook for Placker on

The Arkansas family was among hundreds of readers to sign online guestbooks for Placker, 13, and Skyla Whitaker, 11, two friends shot to death Sunday as they walked down a country road near Weleetka.

Comments came from across the country and close to home. Many were from strangers to the family, but not strangers to heartbreak and grief.

"Speaking from experience, no one should ever have to bury their child,” wrote Vickie from Eufaula. "Keep the faith and know that she has a pair of beautiful wings that she is wrapping around you all.”

Denise from Thomasville, Ga., wrote that she is praying for the families. "Please know that even way down here in Georgia, Skyla and Taylor are in our hearts.”

K.D. from Edmond wrote, "There are so many people right now who are holding you close to their hearts, in thoughts and prayers. Our entire community grieves with you.”

Chelsea Woodard of Cocoa, Fla., posted a poem questioning why two innocent girls had to die. It ends with the refrain: "Just trust in the Lord because only God knows why. Guest book: Taylor Dawn Paschal-Placker Guest book: Skyla Jade Whitaker

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