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N.H. Children Mourned by Family, Friends

August 15, 2003

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) _ Sarah Gehring loved Slinkies and purple Skittles. Philip, her brother, could be the life of a party.

Friends and family came together Thursday to mourn their deaths, remembering the siblings as enthusiastic youngsters busy with sports, friends, theater and schoolwork.

The children’s father, Manuel Gehring, is charged with shooting them in his minivan after a 4th of July fireworks outing and burying them somewhere off Interstate 80 in the Midwest. The graves have not been found.

Bill McCarthy, Philip’s former teacher, remembered him as an 11-year-old with a smile and a mischievous sparkle in his eyes. ``He could make a group of friends erupt in laughter,″ McCarthy said.

Sarah is probably ``popular with the angels,″ said Colby Easler, her boyfriend.

A videotaped collage showed Sarah, 14, and Philip as they grew up _ in one, Sarah cuddling her new baby brother; in another, the siblings an affectionate tangle of arms and legs.

Rev. Gayle Murphy thanked the mourners for the outpouring of affection and concern she described as ``love made tangible.″

Following the service, the children’s mother and stepfather Teresa and James Knight were enveloped in hugs.

Although Teresa Knight has not spoken with reporters, she has issued a statement thanking the community for its support and love,

Pamela Puleo, a spokeswoman for the family, said the memorial service was important to Teresa Knight even though the children’s burial site is unknown.

``This cannot bring full closure,″ she said, ``but hopefully it will bring them some peace.″

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