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Continued: Charter school staff, classmates mourn 2 young victims

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  • Last update: November 22, 2013 - 10:18 PM

Absence and silence

At the townhouse complex where many family members live, a neighbor talked about how Zenavia and Amani, both 5, loved to play outside and dig dirt with her own children. Just kids being kids.

For another neighboring family, the events of the week hit too close to home. Members of Julius Rennie’s extended family, including young cousins of three of the victims, quietly requested several days before addressing the media. The saddened and blank expressions that overcame three little boys at the door when they heard their older sister politely decline to talk about the family spoke volumes.

“We’re still grieving,” said Cathie Guerrido, Marion’s mother, who lives with her daughter’s family. “There will be a time to speak. Not now.”

Marion Guerrido had recently started a job at Wells Fargo’s Shoreview phone services center. The bank issued a statement expressing condolences to her family.

And the family was remembered at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in north Minneapolis, where Julius’ children attended last year’s Christmas party, said the Rev. Roger Sonnesyn, who retired from the church in February. “My God, I’m just shocked by the news of the children’s deaths,” he said.

Rick Petry, the family’s attorney, said he hopes there will be “as much emotional and loving support for this family as possible, because it’s just such a rotten deal, such a tragic set of circumstances.

“This is why we all hug our kids every day, and want to know that they’re all right,” he said. “Because they can be there, and then the next day, everything can change.”

 

plevy@startribune.com • 612-673-4419 dchanen@startribune.com 612-673-4465

 

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  • Memorials were erected by Odyssey Academy classmates inside the lockers of classmates Zenavia Rennie, 5, and Alarious Coleman-Guerrido, 7, who died Thursday after their car submerged in the frigid waters of a holding pond in St. Louis Park. ] PAUL LEVY/STAR TRIBUNE

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