MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A vigil will be held Thursday for two young children in Little Haiti who are believed to have died at the hands of their mothers.
That mother, Odette Joassaint, 41, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and was denied bail.
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On Tuesday, police attended Joassaint’s apartment after receiving multiple 911 calls from him. They said she seemed to be having a mental episode.
When the agents arrived, they met her.
“The only thing she told the officers was that they are inside. Go get them. I don’t want it,” Vega added.
When officers entered the apartment, they made a shocking discovery in a bedroom.
“These two children were tied at the hands and feet, and they were also tied at the neck,” Miami Police Officer Michael Vega said.
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Joassaint’s children, Laura, 5, and Jeffrey, 3, were pronounced dead. The medical examiner’s office is working to determine the cause of death, but police say it was likely strangulation.
The Ministry of Children and Families announced on Wednesday that it had opened an investigation.
“The events that took place yesterday in this house are devastating. The Department is working closely with law enforcement to uncover the circumstances that caused the tragic and untimely deaths of these two children. We have launched a full investigation and will provide updates regularly and publicly,” according to a statement.
Police say they have already responded to trespassing, multiple disturbances and domestic violence, but this is the first time there has been an incident involving children.
“What I want the community to know is that it is very important that if they see a child who suddenly changes in behavior, who is withdrawn, who is crying with a parent or caregiver or who does not want to go with them, who has cuts and bruises or seems dirty or drowsy, these are all signs that something could be going on at home,” said Karina Pavone of Amigos For Kids.
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The vigil for the children will take place at 5 p.m. in front of the Joassaint building.