Makeshift memorial continues to grow as community pays respects to slain mother and children

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A vigil was held Thursday evening to remember the lives lost at a home on Gay Street, and a memorial in the front yard continues to grow.

Community members are leaving fresh flowers, teddy bears, candles, pinwheels and notes with prayers at the edge of the front yard of the house located at 2904 Gay Street.

Sarah Nicole Zent, 26 and her children Carter Mathew Zent, 5; Ashton Duwayne Zent, 3; and 2-year-old Aubree Christine Zent were found slain in the home Wednesday morning. The Allen County Coroner’s Office ruled that the three children died from multiple stab wounds while the mother died from strangulation and stab wounds.

WANE 15 spent time at the memorial observing people stop by the house. A few slowed down in their cars and took a moment to reflect. Some neighbors were seen looking out from their doorways. One woman came by the memorial to light the candles. Later on in the day, a man arrived and left 30 dozen flowers.

The Fort Wayne community was left shocked and dismayed at the killings. One man told WANE 15, “When things like this happen, it not only affects this neighborhood but it affects our whole city as a whole, so we are just out here. We want to let them know that they’re not alone, that in their time of need, we all must come together.”

The family of the victims continue to allow people to pay their respects at the memorial.

The family has started a GoFundMe* page to help pay for the expenses for all four victims. Click here, if you would like to donate.

* does not assure that the monies or donations deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a donation, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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