The Burkman girls were always dressed in cute outfits, often with their hair neatly braided, Hayes said.
"The girls are just beautiful and kind, kind kids," she said. "The whole family was just beautiful inside and out."
The older Griffin children, Sidney and Jordan, lived with their mother, Jodie L. Griffin, in Michigan.
Danny and Bethany Griffin lived on Kintore Court in Parkville with their newborn and with Bethany Griffin's children from her former marriage to Jack L. Burkman.
The Burkmans had a fourth child, Brett, 16, who did not accompany his mother on the Christmas trip. Jack Burkman, a Comcast cable technician, lives in Bel Air, where his children regularly stayed, according to neighbors of both families.
It is not clear when Bethany married Danny Griffin, but he moved in with her children after relocating to Maryland from Michigan after his divorce. Danny Griffin also works for Comcast, according to court records.
In Parkville, a neighbor was caring for the Griffins' two dogs, Georgie and Laura, while they were out of town. The Griffins' yard was one of the largest in the neighborhood and was fenced in, so the children and dogs could play with each other and with other children, neighbors said. A bike, a small soccer net and a child-size plastic picnic table could be seen in the yard.
A neighbor, Lillie Craft, 71, said her own grandchildren - a 7-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl - played often with the Griffins' children. Craft was stunned to tears when she heard of the crash. "I'm not going to tell them," Craft said about the prospect of breaking the news to her grandchildren. "I can't right now."
The Griffins' home is the last in a row of nine rowhouses. White Christmas lights still adorned the outside yesterday afternoon as three neighborhood girls, friends of the Burkman children, arrived to hang a gold-colored Christmas ornament on the wooden mailbox. A note taped to the door, written by the Rev. Lisa Ann Arrington of St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church, said the Northeast Baltimore congregation was "praying in the midst of the shock and available in any way."
One of the three girls, Lauren Moyer, 13, said Haley Burkman loved her dogs, had two pet rats and a few hermit crabs, and enjoyed riding a bike and skimming the sidewalks on a skateboard.
"She was a really fun girl," Lauren said.
Sun reporters June Arney and Sara Neufeld contributed to this article.