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MADISON CO. Ala. (WHNT) — Friends who have known Randle and Delicia Barrow for years say they remember them as a sweet child and a loving mother, and they never suspected anything could be wrong.

Officers started looking for Randle on Saturday morning when they responded to his home for a well-being check. They didn’t get any response from inside, and then noticed smoke coming from the home. Firefighters found Delicia Barrow inside, but there was no sign of Randle.

Deputies say initially her death was under investigation but late Sunday evening they say they believe she committed suicide after driving her son to Marshall County and drowning him.  Read the related story here.

When officers put the word out Saturday that 8-year-old  Randle was missing, Rhonda Brewster, a  friend of the family,  says she and other friends became frantic.

“We were so concerned,” Brewster said. “We were all willing to go look for him if we thought we could find him.”

Brewster says the news that his body had been found hit hard, as did the news his mother had died Saturday.

Rhonda Brewster first met Randle and his mother at KidVenture, her Madison business, when Randle was 4.

“Over the four and a half years he came to our facility, he and his mom, we grew to love him and we loved watching him progress,” Brewster said.

Brewster says Randle loved coming to KidVenture and he came often.  She says through those frequent trips, she got to know Randle’s mother well. She says she always seemed devoted to her son.

“His mother was an awesome mother and she just worked tirelessly to get him the help he needed,” she said.

Brewster says Randle’s father died in a car accident when Randle was a baby.  She says Barrow took full care of Randle.  Recently though,  Barrow voluntarily put Randle into the temporary care of a close friend. Randle went back to his mother’s care several days prior to the search.

She says in all the years she’s known Randle and his mother she never noticed anything that seemed wrong, and she says Barrows always seemed loving and caring to her son.