LAUDERDALE LAKES (CBSMiami) – Three candles, one for each of the victims of a gruesome triple homicide, sit outside apartment 208 at Somerset Apartments in Lauderdale Lakes. Teddy bears and a homemade sign sit nearby.
The makeshift memorial is a way for a grieving community to try and express the depth of their pain over losing two women and a baby in a shocking crime.
Sammy Flounnoy lives one floor below the victims. He cannot make sense of such senseless violence.
“I don’t understand how it happened or why it happened,” he told CBS 4’s Carey Codd.
Broward Sheriff’s investigators are asking for the public’s help in finding the person or people responsible.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Dani Moschella said early Sunday morning an acquaintance of the woman who lived in the apartment, located in the 2700 block of Somerset Drive, dropped by to check in on her.
“As soon as he walked into the apartment he knew something was amiss and called BSO immediately,” said Moschella.
Once inside, deputies found the bodies of Natasha Plummer, 25, her 6-month old son Carlton Stringer Jr., and their roommate 21-year old Octavia Barnett lying in pools of blood.
Barnett’s 11-month old son was in the apartment at the time was uninjured. He’s been placed in protective services.
At a shelter hearing on Monday, the judge ordered the Department of Children and Families to find suitable relatives to place the boy with by 6 p.m. If that cannot be done, he would hold a status hearing on Tuesday to receive an update on the boy’s condition and DCF’s placement options.
Those who live at the Somerset Apartments said news of the murder was scary.
“This is a quiet area, what happened is terrible,” said resident Sharon Thorpe. “It’s very terrible. It’s a traumatic thing. The whole community’s just a wreck because of this. You don’t feel safe anymore in your house.”
An apartment below the one where the bodies were found had to be evacuated because blood was seeping into it from above.
Anyone with information which could help crack this case is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS.