Neighbors mourn the death of two children

Posted at 11:25 PM, May 31, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-31 23:25:30-04

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va (WTVR) - A small prayer vigil tonight for 20 month old Jamani Downing and his 2 month old sister Jade.

Neighbors coming together. Some meeting each other for the first time. All of them vowing to be more vigilant and forthcoming when it comes to helping each other.

Kenyata Tyler prayed, “for the Lord to have mercy onBritney Downing and that she can one day forgive herself."

It was comforting for a few neighbors that gathered at the walkway of Britney Downings Prince George apartment.

"I'm trying to be strong-taking it one day at a time,” said roommate Adriana Williams. She also had a few words for those who she says has trashed Downing on social media sites this week.

"Nobody is justifying her actions she made but the negative comments aren't bringing my godchildren back or doing anything to help the situation-I hope these people examine themselves and make themselves better parents because of this."

Williams lived with Downing, her son Jamani and daughter Jade. She tells CBS 6 she was the kids godmother.

Prosecutors say Downing left both of her children inside a car at the parking lot of a Glen Allen hotel Sunday. Prosecutors say the Prince George mom only checked on them once during her shift.

Downing called 9-1-1 Sunday night when Jamani appeared “unresponsive," according to police.

2 month old Jade died Thursday.

"I would've babysat for that mother-but she didn't know I was across the street,” says Eva Jones-Gray.

Gray added that she feels like the community failed in this case and hopes the tragedy helps bring more of her neighbors together in the future.

"We've gotten away from old values. When we live in the same block and know each other. My momma could beat the neighbors children and the neighbors mom could give me a woopin..we've gotten away from that..and it's not good,"exclaimed Jone-Gray.

Downing is being held in isolation at the Henrico jail.  Her preliminary hearing is set for July 22.