Police in Miami have arrested a 41-year-old woman in the deaths of her two young children after officers responded to repeated hang-up 911 calls from her apartment where they found their tied-up bodies.
The police said Joassaint appeared irrational as she told them, “Come get them, I don’t want them anymore,” when they arrived at her apartment, responding to her repeated 911 calls and hang-ups, the Associated Press reports.
After entering the apartment, the officers found her children, a boy, 3, and a girl, 5, tied up in a prone position on a bed. They attempted to resuscitate the children, but a fire rescue team arrived later and pronounced them dead. Jiassaint was arrested at the scene.
On Wednesday (April 13), Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mindy S. Glazer told Joassaint at her first court appearance that she’s charged with two counts of first-degree murder, local station WSVN reported.
The childrens’ father, Frantzy Belval, identified them as Jeffrey and Laura, WSVN said.
“I can’t talk to you. The police told me, the police talked to me in the house, but I don’t know what to say,” he stated Wednesday at the crime scene, displaying baby pictures of his children.
Belval was not living there at the time of the alleged murders. But the police received at least four calls in the past year involving domestic violence, trespassing and disturbance at the address, the AP reported, citing information from Miami police spokesman Michael Vega. None of the incidents resulted in an arrest and did not involve the children.
Belval told the AP that he routinely picked up his children on the weekends to spend time with him. He’s unaware of Joassaint suffering from any mental illness and claimed that she had lost custody to the state of another child whose father lives in Haiti.
“They [were] little sweet, happy children. I love these kids so much,” family friend Darlene Petion told WSVN about the two children who died. “I can’t believe she [would] do that because I’m always talking to her, how she take care of the kids, you know. I can’t believe she [would] do that.”
Law enforcement is also working with the Florida Department of Children and Families, but it is not yet clear whether it had been involved with the family in the past.