GADSDEN, Ala. (WIAT) — The community of R.A. Mitchell School gathered Sunday to pray and lean on each other after news that Kobe and Xander Barksdale were aboard a plane that went down in a Colorado state park Saturday.
The fourth and second grade students were typical elementary school boys, according to those who knew them.
“Xander and Kobe were all boy. One-hundred percent through and through. Athletic. Pranksters,” said former principal Russ Waits.
The two boys were with their mother Katrina, who made as much of an impact on the community as her children.
“She was in this car line hundreds of times,” Waits said. “When she came around that corner, you could see her smile. She was just a ray of sunshine.”
Across town at Westbrook Christian School, more people wear tearful. People gathered to pray for eighth grader Seth McDuffie.
“When you talk about Seth, you smile,” Assistant Principal Matt Kennedy said. “He loved people. He loved making people laugh.”
Despite the odds, students and faculty are holding out hope that McDuffie is alive and maybe got off the plane during a stop made in Oklahoma.
2014 WIAT-TV CBS42