Vigil held for murdered children

Mom allegedly kills 4 children: Grandmother of 7-year-old survivor speaks out

Shanynthia Gardner has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the killings of her four youngest children. However, her oldest child, a 7-year-old, was able to escape before potentially becoming the fifth victim.

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The lone child survivor’s grandmother, Sonya Clayton, was at the vigil and spoke with WHBQ about the emotions she’s feeling, especially knowing her grandson, Dallen Clayton, had to witness such a tragedy at the place he called home.

"I'm still shocked, in disbelief," Clayton said.

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Clayton said the woman who is accused of killing her own children isn't the woman she considered her daughter-in-law at one time.

“That was a beautiful sweet young lady,” Clayton said, talking about the Shanynthia Gardner she remembers. “What happened? I don't know. I know Shanynthia – this is the work of the devil.”

The well-being of Dallen is a mystery at this point, according Clayton. However, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the child is in a safe place.

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"I want Dallen, I need Dallen,” Clayton told WHBQ. “I need to know what's going with Dallen. They are giving us the run around – I don't understand.

"I know this is not Shanynthia, and I pray (for) and love Shanynthia wholeheartedly still. I'm praying for her," Clayton said. 

– Visit WHBQ for the latest on this developing story.

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