WASHINGTON PARK, Ill. (AP) -- The imprisoned father for two East St. Louis, Ill., children authorities say were killed by their mother listened by phone during their funeral.
Pastors told mourners Thursday that they may question why 5-year-old Levada (lu-VAY'-duh) Brown and 4-year-old Yokela (yoh-KAY'-luh) Smith were taken from them.
But the ministers told the roughly four dozen mourners that the children are now with God, rejoicing while free from any struggles.
Authorities say the siblings were killed Aug. 31 in the family's East St. Louis apartment. Their mother, 25-year-old Yokeia (yoh-KEE'-uh) Smith, is jailed on first-degree murder charges.
The children's father listened in by phone from the Wisconsin federal prison where he's serving time for armed robbery.
He voiced his anguish in a letter about losing "two angels" that was read at the funeral.