She was thrilled to be pregnant a second time, this time with twins. On April 4, 2015, the girls arrived, also several months premature, she said. But the girls survived, and Ellis vowed to be the best mother she could. She was rarely apart from her girls.
On Aug. 3, her sister was critically injured in a car wreck that sent her through a windshield. The next day, Ellis went to Grady Memorial Hospital, where her sister would undergo three emergency surgeries to repair broken bones. Ellis couldn’t take the twins with her, so she left them with their father, Asa Martel North.
During the day, Ellis checked in with North to ask about the girls. North, 24, told her they were fine. But in reality, Ariel and Alaynah had somehow slipped North’s mind, and he left them in their car seats in the backseat of his Nissan Rogue, according to Carrollton police. By the time North found the girls, it was too late to save them.
North admitted he had been drinking, and that night, he was arrested and charged with two felony counts of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of reckless conduct, both misdemeanors, in the deaths of his daughters. Police and the district attorney have said those charges could be upgraded to second-degree murder depending on findings in the investigation, such as toxicology tests on North.
Earlier this week, entertainment mogul Tyler Perry announced his plans to pay for the funeral for the twins, and Ellis said she’s not sure how she can thank him.
“I was just very grateful,” she said. “This has shown me that everyone has to love one another. We can always forgive, but we can never forget.”
The funeral will be Thursday at 1 p.m. at Bethlehem Temple Church of a New Beginning.