FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina (WTVD) — “I just know that I miss my babies and I need y’all to pray for me please…” Candice Smith Freeman said during a vigil Sunday night.
Candice’s daughters, 2-year-old Serenity Freeman and 4-day-old Genesis Faith Freeman, were found stabbed multiple times near N.C. Highway 211 and Army Road in the Raeford area early Saturday morning. Their bodies were found in a car parked in a wooded area, according to Sheriff Hubert Peterkin.
On Friday, the Fayetteville Police Department said the children’s father, Tillman Freeman, was in custody and had refused to say where the children were. He was later charged with two counts of child abuse and child neglect. He’s now also charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
During Sunday’s vigil, Candice was very emotional. Her family had to take her away from the event to calm her down.
The children’s aunt, Marvina Smith, told ABC11 Saturday afternoon that Candice attempted suicide when she discovered her children had been murdered.
After the vigil, Candice told ABC11 that she feels betrayed. She never thought her husband would be capable of killing their children.
“He was supposed to have loved me,” she said. “He was supposed to have loved our kids. I trusted this man for four years.”
“I feel an emptiness in my heart,” Candice continued. “Like more than half of my heart is gone.”
Investigators say Tillman Freeman took the children in a fit of rage after accusing Candice of an affair and questioning if the girls were his.
Authorities said the girls were stabbed repeatedly by Freeman over the weekend, and left in a Toyota hidden in the woods.
Investigators found the car and large knife about 200 yards off a country road in Hoke County – 45 minutes away from their home – where the search for them began.
“I trusted this man,” she said. “I thought I knew him. And it makes me angry.”
Candice said she endured a rocky four-year relationship filled with abuse and drug abuse to keep her family together.
“It felt like the more I prayed for him the worst he got,” she said. “I will never love him again. I don’t ever want to see him again.”
The SBI is investigating. Freeman has a court appearance on Monday.