MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A vigil will be held Thursday for two young Little Haiti children who reportedly died at the hands of their mother.
That mother, Odette Joassaint, 41, has been charged with two counts of first degree murder and has been denied bond.READ MORE: Former Substitute Teacher Enreeka Nalasco Accused Of Giving Drugs To Teen Girls For Sexual Favors
On Tuesday, police went to Joassaint’s apartment after receiving several 911 calls from her. They said she appeared to be having a mental episode.
When officers arrived, they met with her.
“The one thing she did say to officers – they’re inside. Go get them. I don’t want them,” added Vega.
When the officers went inside the apartment, they made a shocking discovery in a bedroom.
“These two kids were tied at the hands and at their feet, and they were also tied at their necks,” said Miami police Officer Michael Vega.READ MORE: Renewed Call For More Safety Measures After Deadly Rickenbacker Causeway Crash
Joassaint’s children, Laura, 5, and Jeffrey, 3, were pronounced dead. The medical examiner’s office is working to figure out the cause of death but police said it was likely strangulation.
The Department of Children and Families said Wednesday that it had opened an investigation.
“The events that unfolded yesterday in this home are devastating. The Department is working closely with law enforcement to uncover the circumstances that caused the tragic and untimely death of these two children. We have launched a full investigation and will provide updates regularly and publicly,” according to a statement.
Police say they’ve responded previously for trespassing, several disturbances, and domestic violence, but this is the first time there’s 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the community to know is that it is very important that if they see a child who’s behavior changes abruptly, who is withdrawn, who cries with a parent or caregiver or doesn’t wanna go with them, who has cuts and bruises or seems dirty or sleepy, those are all signs that something could be going on in the home,” said Karina Pavone with Amigos For Kids.MORE NEWS: Divers Mark 20th Anniversary Of Sinking Spiegel Grove Off Key Largo
The vigil for the children will be held at 5 p.m. in front of Joassaint’s apartment building.