Family and friends of Jelena Sriraman are trying to move forward with the memories they have of her.
Jelena was very active in Southern Oaks Baptist Church, teaching and working for the church daycare. With two children of her own, Jelena was well-known in her church community as a leader and teacher for local children.
"She'll be very missed, by us and our children," said Renee French, a friend of Jelena's.
For the past five years, Jelena was a leader and teacher at the Children's Ministry at Southern Oaks Baptist Church.
"She loved children, and it was evident, I believe, in the way they were always huddled around her when she would tell them stories," said Southern Oaks Baptist Church youth pastor Charles Taylor.
Jelena was from Croatia. Her friends tell us she met her ex-husband, James Calvert, when he traveled to Croatia. He brought her back to the United States, and they were married in 2004.
After having two children together, they were divorced in 2009. But that didn't stop Jelena from living a full life.
"The kids were happy; even through everything they went through, the kids were happy, because she made sure of it," said Jelena's friend Jennifer Deck.
Jelena moved forward, getting her US citizenship in May of 2010, and then graduating from the Paralegal Program at TJC just this year.
"She would come into the office very excited about doing well on a test or she would get her semester grades and she would come into the office all excited," said Taylor.
But what really made Jelena smile was her two children, and her new love, her husband, Arvind Sriraman. Jelena and Arvind married in January.
"They loved each other a lot. He was all about her hopes and dreams and what she wanted in life and he wanted her to be happy," said Deck.
Sriraman knows the first step to continue Jelena's happiness is loving and caring for her children.
Arvind Sriraman plans to legally adopt both of his stepchildren. CPS confirms as of tonight, the children will be temporarily placed in his custody.
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