The family of two Dorchester sisters fatally shot Monday in their apartment are trying to find a way to return their bodies to Haiti, to honor a wish made by one of the victims years earlier.
“Stephanie told us that she didn’t want to be buried here, that if she died she wanted to be buried back home,’’ said Miralda Emile, 28, her sister, tears welling up in her eyes as she spoke yesterday morning.
“We’re trying to make that possible,’’ she said.
Judith and Stephanie Emile arrived in the United States from Haiti in 2002. According to family members, they both recently embarked on paths to careers in the medical field.
The sisters worked and studied hard, and spent most of their free time with their large family and their mother. Their father recently returned to Haiti.
“We really don’t know what to do now,’’ Emile said, holding her arms in the air.
The family moved from a house on Blue Hill Avenue in August to an apartment complex on the corner of Harlem and Greenwood Streets.
Stephanie, 21, and Judith, 23, recently moved into their own apartment in the same complex, but would often visit the rest of the family just two addresses away at the opposite end of the sprawling, three-story complex, their family said.
“The only thing I know is that they are dead; beyond that, we don’t have any answers,’’ Emile said.
Police declined yesterday to comment on the case, beyond stating that the investigation is very active.
“In order to maintain the integrity of the investigation, we can’t talk about any specifics of the case,’’ said Elaine Driscoll, spokeswoman for the Boston Police Department.
Authorities said Monday that the women may have been killed as early as 7:30 a.m. that morning.
Boston police responded to the crime scene at 9:15 a.m. after another sister of the victims found the bodies.
One of the victims was shot as she came out of the shower, and the other as she lay in bed, their relatives said.
The family said another sister, Samantha, who also lived in the apartment, found her 2-year-old niece, whom the victims had been watching. The child, covered in blood and confused, had knocked on the bedroom door.
Police have offered no motive for the crime, which occurred at a complex that neighbors said has been known for loud parties, fights, and drug use, but not shootings.
Family members said the two women did not have enemies.
“It wasn’t like them to argue with anyone,’’ Emile said. “They were very full of life, didn’t go out looking for trouble. It’s shocking to everyone. They were both here the night before. They always came over here after they got off work.’’
Judith Emile worked at Wendy’s and her sister was just starting a job in the dietary unit of a Boston hospital. The victims were part of a large Haitian family of 13 siblings.
Neighbors also expressed shock over the murders.
“It’s a very peaceful area,’’ said Wesler Charles, 54, who lives on Greenwood Street, across the street from the third-story apartment where the women were found. “I’ve been here for more than 11 years, and nothing like that has happened.
“A friend called me from work and said there’s trouble in the neighborhood, that two girls were shot,’’ Charles said. “I asked him if he was crazy, because nothing like that happens here.’’
Another neighbor, Edith Watson, who has lived on Harlem Street since 1962, also said the area is usually peaceful.
Nothing like this ever,’’ she said, after parking her car. “Maybe a little drug problem down there, at that building, but no violence.’’