EXCLUSIVE: Mother, grandmother opens up about family killed in Pekin tornado
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A mother and grandmother who had to bury her three grandchildren, son and his girlfriend opened up about the heart-wrenching weeks and days following the deadly March 2 tornado outbreak. Scars from the storm are still evident in Pekin, Indiana as the Babcock's continue to heal from the tragic day.
"I get scared because we have to relive that day all over," Babcock explained about the upcoming 1-year anniversary.
Clutching a mold of her granddaughter's tiny fingertips, Kathy Babcock admitted she's still grieving a year later. "The day before we took Angel off life support, the hospital made this mold for me so she can always hold my hand," Babcock said.
Angel Babcock captured the heart of the nation after first responders found the 15-month-old crying alone in a field. Her entire family was pronounced dead. Joe Babcock, 21, and his girlfriend Moriah Brough, 20, were pronounced dead after the storm. Two-month-old Kendall and 2-year-old Jayden were also dead.
Angel was rushed to Kosair Children's Hospital where doctors determined she suffered head trauma. The toddler passed away March 4. "We were all in that room when we took her off life support. We all wanted to hold her. She was so precious," Babcock said.
"I couldn't imagine what was going through their minds at that time. People keep coming up and telling us stories about them standing in the yard screaming. Enough goes through my mind to not have people come up and say it, that just makes it kind of worse," Babcock said.
A fund helped offset funeral and burial expenses so the family of five could be respectfully laid to rest. "The people little Angel touched - is unreal. We've received support from all over. Songs have been sent to us and donations helped pay for so much that we just couldn't afford," she said.
The family cemetery plot is surrounded by a pop of technicolor flowers and stuffed animals in memory of a dark day.
"You can see that big angel. We can spot it for miles. We keep flowers on there so it just stands out," she said.
The mother and grandmother admits every day is a struggle, but she gets by thinking about the young, vibrant family.