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May 24, 2013

Tornado took town’s youngest as it swept through Moore

MOORE — One loved the spotlight. Another was nicknamed “The Wall” because of the force he brought to the soccer field.

When a top-of-the-scale EF-5 tornado ripped through Moore, it took with it 24 lives. Seven of them were children at Plaza Towers Elementary school; two were only babies. These are the victims’ stories.

JaNae Hornsby, 9: One of seven children killed inside the Plaza Towers Elementary School, JaNae loved to draw and sing. She loved being the center of attention, her father said.

JaNae’s house, just three blocks from the school, also was destroyed by the tornado. Her father wanted to go back to the property to see if he could find a few of JaNae’s things to keep.

As family gathered to make funeral arrangements and comfort one another, Hornsby looked behind him into the house.

“If she was here she would just have everybody laughing and she would be in the midst of everything. She loved the spotlight,” he said.

Karrina Vargyas, 4: Karrina was not quite old enough to be at school like her two older siblings. So she was at home huddled in a bathtub with her mother, younger sister and grandmother.

The tornado threw the women and children in different directions. Her parents could not find Karrina that night. It was only later that they learned that searchers had found Karrina’s body in the rubble of what had been a neighbor’s house.

Her father, Phillip Vargyas, said Karrina “had a smile that would light up the room.” And whenever he feels the pain of her loss, her father said he likes to think of Karrina giving him a little hug.

Sydnee Vargyas, 7 months: Just 7 months old, Sydnee had crawled for the first time Sunday. But she never really got to enjoy her newfound freedom.

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