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Funeral services to be held in Mexico for slain White Sulphur Elementary students
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Investigators from the Hall County Sheriff's Office work the scene at a house on Crescent Drive Friday, Dec. 11, 2020, where two children were found dead. - photo by Scott Rogers

Funeral services will be held in Mexico for two White Sulphur Elementary School students who authorities said were killed by their mother at their Hall County home earlier this month, according to obituaries for the children.

Katherine Jaramillo, 6, and Mateo Jaramillo, 5, were found dead around 2 p.m. Dec. 11 at a home on Crescent Drive in northeast Hall County, after police responded to a report that a woman had cut herself.

Authorities found Berenice Jaramillo-Hernandez, 26, with serious injuries to her neck.

According to investigators, Jaramillo-Hernandez killed her son and daughter with a knife between noon and 2 p.m. Friday and then turned the knife on herself. The mother is being charged with murder in the case.

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Hillside Chapel Funeral Home in Gainesville is in charge of the arrangements for both children.

“If you have ever attended (White Sulphur Elementary School) a single day, you were forever a Panther,” said White Sulphur Elementary Principal Suzanne Chadwick in a statement. “Katherine and Mateo were just that. Each morning, they would walk together to their classes and Katherine would repeatedly tell staff members each day, ‘That’s my brother,’ as if they didn’t know. She referred to him with great pride.”

Chadwick said it was clear how close the two siblings were.

“Katherine was a very sweet, sweet little girl,” Chadwick said. “She wore the large JoJo (Siwa) hair bows and had a contagious smile. At school, she would comment by saying, ‘This was the best day of my life.’ Mateo was your typical busy little fellow. He was curious about everything and often visited around the room.”

Chadwick said staff and students received “exceptional support” from the student services department through extra counselors and therapists. 

“Our time with these two precious students was very minuscule,” Chadwick said. “However, our staff embraced them, loved them, and welcomed them into our Panther family.” 

Chadwick said the community, school and “even strangers have poured their love and into us during this time.”

“Our hearts have been shattered and we are devastated,” Chadwick said. “However, we will continue to lean on each other as we reflect on how important every single day is with our students.”

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