By Cory James

HILLSBOROUGH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey mom is facing murder charges after her two children were found dead in the backseat of a car in Somerset County on Tuesday.

Skillman neighbors are devastated over what happened to the little girl and her baby brother who lived on their street. Both of them, according to police, murdered by their mother, 36-year-old Yuhwei Chou.

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“They really kept to themselves,” one person said.

“I never saw any sign of her being a bad mom,” Austen Wang-Bailey said.

“Why did she do that?” Helen Wang said, crying. “I never even saw the little boy. I understand he was a beautiful little boy. The girl, she was a beautiful little girl. The cutest little thing.”

Police say Chou was behind the wheel of the car that left the roadway in Hillsborough near Mountain View Road.

Authorities say 7-year-old Samantha Ross and 10-month-old Paul Ross were in the back of the vehicle, bound and restrained in their booster seats and showing no signs of life.

Robert Long’s son is a tow truck driver who found the vehicle. Long told CBS2’s Cory James about the frantic phone call his son made to him just before 8 a.m.

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“He was shook up. He said he found a lady in the ditch and said he asked her if she was all right and she said no, I think. And then he seen the babies and then he called the cops right away,” Long said.

Neighbors say they’ve seen officers at the family’s home before.

“Over the years, I had seen some, like, police cars would come occasionally. We never knew what any of that was about,” Wang-Bailey said.

But Wang says if they knew something was wrong and the kids were in danger, they would have stepped in to help.

“What could I have done? What could I have said?” Wang said.

Chou has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and will be booked after a medical evaluation.

The cause of the children’s deaths and the motive are under investigation.

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Editor’s note: This story first appeared on Nov. 9, 2021.

Cory James