They were swept up and escorted by their Heavenly Angel. Now living in a glorious home fashioned by God where they will never weep nor fear again.
KIRBYVILLE - April Pearson was boy crazy. Shy and usually quiet, the threat of revealing her crush of the week to the object of her affection was enough to start her squealing, though, her uncles said. Some of those oblivious boys could be among the mourners that pour into First Baptist Church of Kirbyville at 11 this morning to say good-bye to the 14-year-old and her 10-year-old sister, Ashley Pearson. Both girls were shot and killed early Monday when an intruder entered their home in the Call community. Their mother, Gwen Pearson, 33, and 5-year-old sister, Katelyn, also were shot and were in stable condition at Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital on Wednesday night. After a 33-hour manhunt, authorities arrested Perry Anthony Stevenson, 42, and charged him with aggravated robbery. He also is expected to be charged with capital murder in the deaths of April and Ashley Pearson and is suspected in the shooting death of Mirian McElroy, 51, with whom he lived in Little Cypress. The Pearson girls' father, Gary, 42, was sound asleep upstairs when the intruder entered, according to Gary's younger brother, Todd Pearson. He said Gwen's cries woke Gary, who initially thought maybe Ashley or Katelyn, who like him had diabetes, was having an insulin attack. Gary Pearson saw Gwen at the foot of the stairs and heard her say she had been shot. That prompted him to get his gun before hurrying downstairs where he found his wife and three daughters shot and called 911, his brother said. "I'm going to miss my girls," Gary Pearson said. "They were everything in my life to me." "Ashley was real kind and gentle, and she loved everyone. She loved her daddy, too," he said. Though April was a teen-ager, "she still was my baby and loved me and trusted me. She was special, really special. "You just don't know how special they are 'til you lose them. They were the greatest thing that ever happened to me in my life." Friends and teachers of the two girls stopped in the entryway of E.E. Stringer Funeral Home in Kirbyville on Wednesday evening to write a few words in a memory book. "I hope you like heaven," one girl wrote to Ashley. "I will miss you." Their Christian faith that both girls are in heaven has been a comfort, family members said. "Even though the pain is there and it hurts, our inner peace comes from the Lord," said Gary Pearson's twin brother, Greg Pearson. That peace also has prevented a desire for revenge, he said. "It's not good for you to be angry and bitter," Greg Pearson said. "All I want or Gary wants is for justice to prevail. We don't want him on the street. We don't want him to hurt anybody else." If prosecutors decide justice means seeking the death penalty, Greg Pearson said, "I'll be all right with that. I'm not sitting here saying I want him to be dead."