Funeral Services For S.C. Toddlers Found in Submerged Vehicle

Ja'Van Duley (left), Devean Duley (right) (WLTX)
Funeral Services Scheduled For Slain S.C. Toddlers
Ja'Van Duley (left), Devean Duley (right) (WLTX)

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (CBS/AP) Hundreds were expected to attend funeral services for two South Carolina toddlers authorities say were suffocated by their mother, then driven into a river Monday.

A joint funeral service was scheduled Friday at 11 a.m. for 18-month-old Ja'Van T. Duley and 2-year-old Devean C. Duley in Orangeburg, S.C.

Their mother Shaquan Duley, 29, appeared in court for the first time Wednesday morning and was "remorseful" for her actions, according to defense attorney Carl B. Grant.

The children's tragic deaths rattled the city. A steady stream of mourners filed past the boys' small white coffins at a funeral home Thursday.

Duley originally told authorities that the children drowned when their car careened into the Edisto River Monday and that she couldn't manage to get the children out, but, according to Orangeburg County Sheriff Larry Williams, the 29-year-old mother later told police that she was "distraught" after a dispute she allegedly had with her own mother and killed her two children by putting her hand over their mouths at a local motel.

According to investigators, Duley then strapped the boys' lifeless bodies into child safety seats inside a car, and drove to the Edisto River where officers believe she allowed the car to roll into the river from a boat ramp, reported CBS affiliate WLTX.

There were homes near the bridge road where the tragic incident occurred. However, Shaquan Duley walked three-quarters of a mile from the river and found a driver who had a cell phone. The driver then called police.

The two boys were dead when the divers got to the car near a rural boat landing about 45 minutes later, said Williams.

"She truly felt, 'If I don't have these toddlers, I can be free,'" said Williams Tuesday. "I think she was fed up with her mother telling her she couldn't take care of her children, or she wasn't taking care of the children and just wanted to be free."

Duley faces two murder charges in the death of her two sons.

MORE ON CRIMESIDER. August 19, 2010 - Shaquan Duley "Remorseful," Says Lawyer of S.C. Mom Charged with Sons' Deaths
August 17, 2010 - Shaquan Duley: Mother Confessed to Killing Her Two Children Before Driving Car into River, Say Police