WEST PALM BEACH (CBS4)-The man accused in the killings of two children who turned up last week in a Delray Beach canal has been ordered held without bond.
Clem Beauchamp, 34, appeared Wednesday in federal court in West Palm Beach on a firearms charge unrelated to the deaths of the children, who were found last week.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Linnea Johnson refused to appoint a public defender, saying Beauchamp must use his home equity to pay for a lawyer. Beauchamp’s sister, Theresea McMillen Gilliard, attended the hearing but declined comment.
Police haven’t charged Beauchamp in the children’s deaths but said he’s their only suspect.
The bodies of Jermaine McNeil, 10, and his sister Jutyra Allen, 6, were found last Wednesday in a canal that separates Boca Raton from Delray Beach, stretching between U.S. 441 and the Intracoastal Waterway and passes beneath Florida’s Turnpike and I-95.
Authorities do not know how long the bodies had been in the water nor how the children died. Autopsy reports were not immediately released.
They also suspect him in the death of the children’s mother, Felecia Brown, whose body was found last August in a Palm Beach County landfill. Police said Beauchamp was Brown’s ex-boyfriend.
The prosecutor revealed in federal court Wednesday that Brown was acting as a government witness against Beauchamp in the federal gun case. He said Brown had spoken to a government witness in early 2010 about a robbery kit — containing a green Halloween mask, a silenced .22-caliber pistol and sham crack cocaine – which was found in her Ford Taurus. An ATF agent described finding the items in the car.
In arguing that Beauchamp should be held without bail, Assistant U.S. Attorney John McMillen also revealed that Brown’s two children were killed in late February, The Palm Beach Post reported.
Police began to get some answers Friday. They searched Beauchamp’s home and were seen removing bags of items. They also dug several holes in the backyard.
Neighbors said Beauchamp lived in the home with Brown, Jermaine and Jytra last year. The children had not been seen for several weeks and also have not been in school recently.
Meanwhile, relatives of the children and Brown want answers about what happened to their loved ones.
“Whoever did it, how could you do that to kids?” asked Brown’s cousin Tanicsha Lowery. “Put them in a suitcase? How can you do that?”
Beauchamp has a criminal past. He was arrested several times over the last 15 years, court records show. The most serious was in 1995, for aggravated assault with a firearm, where he allegedly stormed a fast-food chain with a pistol drawn. That crime resulted in an 18-month sentence.
Records also show he was arrested five times in Florida on charges ranging from robbery to drug possession. He was convicted in 1996 of aggravated assault with a firearm.
An arraignment hearing is scheduled for March 18.
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