by: Eric Philips Updated:
COBB COUNTY, Ga.,None - Members of a Cobb County church are moving from sadness to frustration after their pastor and his family were killed during the ride home from a church conference in Orlando.
The congregation wants assistance transporting the victims’ bodies back to their homeland, Brazil. Members met with a representative of the Brazilian consulate Tuesday evening at the International Church of the Restoration in Marietta.
Members pressed her for answers on what the Brazilian government is going to do to help get the five crash victims who lost their lives back to Brazil. The church’s pastor, Joe Carmo, and his wife, Adriana, their daughter, Leticia, the pastor's brother, Edsom and his companion, Rose were all killed. They were also all undocumented immigrants.
“The consul general has been speaking to Brazil since yesterday, all day long, so we are waiting for whatever answer they have for us,” said Ana Rodrigues of the Brazilian consulate.
But the congregation worries that grieving families in Brazil will have to wait too long to get their loved ones’ bodies back home and are hoping Brazil will help.
“I don't want to say that it will happen or it won't happen. It’s possible,” Rodrigues said.
Then, there is the question of what will happen with Lidiane Carmo, the youngest daughter of the deceased pastor and his wife. She is still hospitalized due to injuries from the crash. The Sprayberry High School freshman who has lived in the United States since she was very young is also undocumented.
“We are too early in the whole thing to say what will be done or can be done,” Rodrigues said.
Church members said she should stay in the country.
“She belongs here. We are her family here,” Marcia Silva said.
Members also asked about help for medical expenses, as well as help pursing the state of Florida for keeping highway open despite fog and smoke from a brush fire. Rodrigues declined both of those requests saying they were outside of the purview of her office.
A Carmo family fund has been established at the Bank of America to help defray medical costs.