Mourners gathered this morning at a funeral service in Gardena to remember three young sisters allegedly stabbed to death by their mother.
Known as the “Three Coronado Angels,” the youngsters — Sophia, 2 1/2; Yazmine, 16 months; and Xenia, 2 months — were killed May 20 at the home of Carol and Rudy Coronado.
Carol Coronado, who suffered from self-inflicted knife wounds when her children were killed, remains in jail and did not attend the service at St. Anthony of Padua Church.
Mariachi music played as three small caskets adorned with red and purple marigolds and roses were lined in front of about 250 mourners. Rudy Coronado sat in the front row wearing a black shirt and pants, a red rose and a purple tie. Most of the service was in Spanish.
The Rev. George Aguilar prayed “for all parents who grieve over the death of their children that they be comforted with the knowledge that their children dwell with God.”
“May (God’s) spirit unite this family so they may walk with his presence and one day be reunited with these children,” he said.
Outside the church, three hearses waited to take the girls’ remains to Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes, where executives were so moved by the family’s pain that they offered to provide free burial services.
As Rudy Coronado exited the church following the three caskets — Sophia’s a light purple, Yazmine’s pink and Xenia’s white — he rubbed the smallest one with a black cloth.
The funeral procession traveled along the 110 Freeway making its way to Green Hills Memorial Park on Western Avenue.
St. Anthony’s parishioner Helen Timko, 81, of Harbor Gateway said she came to the service because she’s a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother of three.
“I think there are a lot of us here that are mothers,” Timko said. “My great-grandchildren are about their ages. My heart just goes out to the family.
She said everyone needs to pay more attention to their neighbors, as they did in the past when people knew their neighbors and their problems.
Carol Coronado is charged with three counts of murder in the May 20 slayings at the family home in the 1000 block of West 223rd Street, an unincorporated community between Harbor Gateway and Carson. Her husband was outside working on his pickup truck when the girls’ grandmother, Julie Piercey, discovered the grisly scene inside.