Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mom Left to Raise Her Child's 2 Babies; She Wants the Twin Boys to Know Their Mother Was Happy-Go-Lucky

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mom Left to Raise Her Child's 2 Babies; She Wants the Twin Boys to Know Their Mother Was Happy-Go-Lucky

Article excerpt

Byline: Jim Schoettler

The day Danielle Melton learned her 11-month-old daughter died last June of sudden infant death syndrome, she collapsed at a Jacksonville hospital.

Tests done at the hospital to check her health found that Melton was pregnant with identical twin boys, who were born in October.

"That's what really kept her going ... because she knew she had to for those babies," Michelle Rockett, Melton's mother, told the Times-Union.

Da'shawun and Da'-quawun turned 11 months old Thursday without the chance to ever see their mother again.

Melton, 19, died Tuesday after being caught outside in the crossfire of a drug-related turf battle that left two others dead - men who police said were involved in the beef - and a toddler hospitalized. That 16-month-old boy, Marc Smith, has returned from the hospital to the apartment complex on Prince Street.

Police have charged one man in the slayings, while a second has been charged with possession of a weapon by a felon. Police would not say whether the second man was directly linked to the slayings.

Rockett, 36, wept in anger Thursday while talking about the loss of her daughter and how Melton's sons will suffer as they grow up. The mother of six other children said she will now raise her grandsons.

"I'm not going to be able to see her smile ... to tell her I love her, kiss her, touch her, smell her," Rockett said. "Just because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Rockett, of Orange Park, said she received a phone call that her daughter had been shot and went to Shands Jacksonville hospital hoping to visit with her. When a doctor said her daughter died, Rockett begged to see her face. Staff led her into her room, where her daughter lay in a body bag, shot in the back and chest.

"When they unzipped that bag and I seen my baby, the only thing that went through my mind at that point in time was, 'You all need to catch the bastard that did this to my child' " Rockett said. …

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