Donald and Crystal Howard of Newborn, Georgia, never made it home when they went to buy face paint and candy on Halloween. They were killed instantly when their SUV flew off the road and hit a tree, NBC affiliate WXIA reported.
When Georgia State Trooper Nathan Bradley arrived at the home to break the news, he found their four young children home alone, preparing to go trick-or-treating.
"Unfortunately, we were greeted by four youngsters dressed up in full costume," Bradley told WXIA.
U.S. & World
The children's grandmother, Stephanie Oliver, wouldn't arrive from Florida until the next day. With her permission, Bradley didn't tell the children, who ranged in age from 6 to 13, that their parents had died.
Instead, Bradley treated Justin, Amaya, Damien and Travion to dinner, movies and Halloween candy at the Monroe State Patrol post, followed by a sleepover.
"The whole purpose was to preserve their future holidays," said Bradley.
The trooper also started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the funeral expenses. The funeral will be held in Florida where the kids are moving to be with their grandmother, reported the affiliate.
"He took care of my kids when they needed them. He was there for them, all the way. Halloween they didn't even have a clue," Oliver told WXIA.