Shocked, outraged and simply just speechless.
Only three days removed from what Naperville Police Chief Robert Marshall called the "most gruesome and horrific crime scene" he's seen in his 30-year career, the Naperville community is still reeling from Tuesday's tragic and fatal stabbings.
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Prosecutors said Thursday that 40-year-old Elzbieta Plackowska told her 7-year-old son Justin and 5-year-old Olivia Dworakowski to get on their knees and pray before fatally stabbing both children. She was charged with two counts of first-degree murder Wednesday.
Plackowska moved to Naperville from Poland 12 years ago, but is not a U.S. citizen and had been living in the city on a vacation visa, authorities said.
While Plackowska is currently held without bond in DuPage County Jail, a small, makeshift memorial is being built in front of the townhouse where the murders occurred on Quin Court in Naperville's Brookdale subdivision. Neighbors and even those who did not know Justin or Olivia placed flowers, stuffed animals, candles and pieces of candy on Halloween.
Many are struggling to even comprehend the crime and it's clear that everyone from parents and school administrators to police and officials have been affected.
Chief Marshall said some of the investigators called to the scene Tuesday night instantly recognized Olivia because they had met her at the beginning of the school year when she accidentally got lost in the wrong kindergarten classroom at Brookdale Elementary.
"Several of our officers met Olivia at that time and on that day and they had lunch with her," Marshall said at the DuPage County courthouse Thursday. "Officers told me she was such a 'sweet, loving little girl.'"
Naperville police and first responders are scheduled to meet with a crisis management team Friday.
Administrators at both Indian Prairie District 204 as well as Naperville School District 203, where Justin attended Scott Elementary, have offered condolences and also put a crisis team in place.
"My thoughts, condolences and well wishes go out to all the families involved in this terrible loss, as well as the entire Naperville community," District 203 Superintendent Dan Bridges said in a press release. "Our District was not the only one touched by this event, and I extend my support and condolences to the families of Indian Prairie District 204. It is important to remember at times like this that we are one community, one Naperville."
Many took to social media during the past few days to share their reactions and to grieve.
"Shook up about the murder in Naperville. The saddest thing I have ever heard:( can't wait to hold my girls tomorrow!" said Alex Hazzard on Twitter.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Naperville tonight...just unspeakable horror that I can't even begin to wrap my head around." Sean Skyler said on Twitter.
Another woman tweeted, "What happened in naperville is the saddest thing i have ever read...just gruesome."
Naperville Patch Full Coverage:
Court Denies Bond for Naperville Mom Accused of Stabbing Children to Death
Police Charge Naperville Mom With Murder in Stabbing Deaths of Children
Community Reacts After Children Stabbed to Death in Naperville Home
Police Find 2 Children Stabbed to Death in Naperville Home