By Christina Santucci
Hundreds of mourners packed a South Jamaica church Thursday evening to pay their respects to the 21-year-old mother and her two young daughters, who were found stabbed to death in their Sutphin Boulevard apartment four days earlier.
Three white coffins were lined up at the front of Iglesia Naciones Unidas en Cristo, at 97-07 Sutphin Boulevard, where Deisy Garcia attended services with her toddlers, 2-year-old Daniela and 1-year-old Jocelyn.
A photo of Garcia and her girls was projected at the front of the church with the words, “In memory of our sister Deisy Garcia and her princesses Daniela and Jocelyn” in Spanish.
Each child and their mother wore a rhinestone tiara as they lay in their caskets.
Garcia was part of the church’s dance group, the Rosas de Saron, and fellow dancers carried candles and placed a pandero, a kind of tambourine that she used while dancing, in her casket.
The women, wearing white shirts and skirts with colorful sashes, performed at the beginning of the service for mourners.
“That was their way of saying goodbye,” said Robinson Flores, the church’s pastor.
Flores said the funeral was held in part to provide spiritual comfort to heartbroken relatives and friends but also to reach out to victims of domestic violence, who may be fearful about coming forward.
“[Victims] don’t have to be afraid even if they don’t have the right paperwork,” Flores said.
Garcia, who was born in Guatemala, was studying at York College.
Garcia’s mother, Luz Mina, and uncle, Romeo Chuc, broke down in tears as they spoke, then joined other relatives in the front row as hundreds of people passed by the coffins.
Some left bouquets of flowers, while one man and a child placed two small dolls inside the toddlers’ tiny coffins.
Many placed folded $20 bills inside a box to help pay for the coffins and the cost to transport both girls and their mother to Guatemala Friday to be buried.
Garcia’s husband, Miguel Mejia-Ramos, was scheduled for arraignment the same day – Friday
Mejia-Ramos allegedly confessed to killing his spouse and toddlers after he was apprehended in Texas late Monday, the Queens district attorney said.
Authorities believe the 29-year-old father asked the girls for forgiveness before stabbing them to death, the DA said.
Reach managing editor Christina Santucci by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org by phone at 718-260-4589.