'I don't want them anymore': Florida mom kills children, aged 3 and 5, by strangling them with ribbon
Responding officers found the children hogtied and lying face-down in the bedroom
Warning: Disturbing content
The Little Haiti neighborhood in Miami mourned the loss of a boy, 3, and a girl, 5, who were found dead inside their home after she told cops, "Come get them, I don't want them anymore."
Odette Lysse Joassaint, 41, is facing first-degree murder charges for the deaths of her children Jeffrey and Laural Belval at their Little River home. The Florida woman is said to have confessed to strangling her son and daughter with a red ribbon after tying them to one another by their necks, legs, and arms. Miami Fire officials said someone called 911 multiple times Tuesday night, April 12, but hung up. Responding officers found the kids hogtied and lying face-down on a bed at the home. They couldn't be revived and were pronounced dead at the scene.
Miami police spokesperson Michael Vega said Jossaint was "irate" and seemed to be undergoing a mental health crisis. She reportedly told cops that she was having financial problems, adding that “her kids were suffering and that they would suffer less if they were dead.” The mother-of-two called 911 multiple times before officers responded at her apartment. "They were calling but she wasn't saying much," Miami-Dade Public Information Officer Michael Vega told CBS Miami. "The one thing she did say to officers: 'They're inside. Go get them. I don't want them.'"
UPDATE: Police have arrested 41-year-old Odette Lysse Joassaint, the children’s mother. She’s now charged with 2 counts of Murder 1st Degree. Police say they entered the apartment and saw the two children tied up and unresponsive. @wsvn pic.twitter.com/7zGMx77cwM— Tavares Jones (@tavareskjones) April 13, 2022
Speaking to the Miami Herald, devastated father Frantzy Belval said the kids lived with Jossaint full time but he usually saw them once a week on Saturdays. He described the suspect as a mentally ill mother who was unemployed for a year and wanted to move back in with him, but he refused. “I told her, ‘You are crazy. You create too many problems,’” Belval said.
According to the Herald, Jossaint was arrested in 2017 for biting Frantzy. She was determined to be the aggressor but the battery charges against her were ultimately dropped. In 2019, Frantzy was arrested for striking Jossaint for being on the phone too long. He was charged with aggravated battery after Jossaint sustained a swollen eye and a cut on her lip. However, Jossaint decided not to provide a statement and did not pursue criminal charges, but sought a restraining order against Frantzy alleging repeated abuse. She reportedly accused him of brandishing a gun and threatening to pour boiling water on her. A permanent injunction was issued, but eventually withdrawn after Jossaint told the court she wanted to “reconcile for our children’s well-being."
UPDATED: Dad of murdered children tells me the mother, Odette Joassaint, was long unstable, and had lost custody of a third child, a 14-y.o. girl.— David Ovalle (@DavidOvalle305) April 13, 2022
Court records show the couple also had a long history of domestic strife.
R.I.P Laural and Jeffrey Belvalhttps://t.co/tJnAEXrSTo pic.twitter.com/0OdbSJA0uP
Spokesperson Vega said police had been summoned to the address several times in the past, but Tuesday's call was the first one pertaining to children. "We have had several calls there in the past year. One of them was domestic violence, another was just trespass, and some disturbance calls," Officer Vega told WPBF25 News. "It's something tragic to see that the person that is supposed to take care of these kids is the person that took their lives."
Autopsy reports are yet to be released at the time of publication as Jossaint is remanded in custody without bond. If you or anyone you know has information related to the case, you are urged to contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477