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School resumes Monday without two murdered Clearwater children, Zander and Zayden Brown

9:50 PM, Sep 23, 2012   |    comments
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9-year-old Zander Brown and 5-year-old Zayden Brown
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CLEARWATER, Florida -- When students at McMullen Booth Elementary School were dismissed on Friday, the children had no idea they wouldn't all be coming back on Monday.

Those young kids, along with teachers at the school, are grieving the loss of 9-year-old Zander Brown and 5-year-old Zayden Brown, two brothers Pinellas County deputies say were killed by their mother over the weekend.

"They were good boys. Everybody's going to miss them," said Lora Howe, a family friend, who tells 10 News the kids were swimming in her pool just a few days ago.

Outside the Brown family home on Sidney Street, a memorial was growing Sunday. People left stuffed animals, hand-written notes, and flowers. "I wanted to see it.  It's very sweet," said Howe.

Neighbors say the father found all three bodies when he came home Friday night. They say the family was having financial problems and the mother, Dawn Brown, may have been suffering from depression.

A crisis team, including grief counselors, are expected at the school on Monday to help students better understand what's happened.

"My grandson said to my daughter yesterday, 'Well, maybe he'll get a new heart and come back,'" Howe said, fighting back tears.

Investigators say Dawn Brown hung herself, but they're waiting on autopsy results to determine how the two children died.

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