[UPDATE] 2 Children's Bodies Found in South Florida Canal

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

[UPDATE] 3-8 2:30pm -- WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) --

Child welfare officials say they had prior involvement with the family of two children found dead in a South Florida canal, but had not investigated their well-being since 2005.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Children and Families
confirmed Tuesday that the agency had contact with the family of
10-year-old Jermaine McNeil and his 6-year-old sister Ju'tyra
Allen.

DCF didn't detail what its involvement was or what triggered it,
but officials said they had no open child protective investigation
of the children for years.

The children's bodies turned up Wednesday in Delray Beach,
stuffed in luggage. Police say they have just one suspect in their
deaths, and that of their mother, who was found dead in a West Palm
Beach dump last year.

State officials say they probed the safety years ago of two children recently found dead in luggage in a South Florida canal, but no investigations were open at the time of their killings.

Spokeswoman Elisa Cramer said Tuesday the Florida Department of Children and Families had prior contact with the family of
10-year-old Jermaine McNeil and his 6-year-old sister Ju'tyra
Allen. She says there's been no open investigation since 2005.

The bodies were found Wednesday in Delray Beach.

No charges have been filed in the killings though police say
they have only one suspect who is being held on an unrelated
charge: 34-year-old Clem Beauchamp, of Delray Beach, with whom the children lived. Authorities say he's also a suspect in the death of
the children's mother.

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[UPDATE] 3-4 Noon -- DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (AP) --

A convicted felon suspected in the deaths of two children found in a South Florida canal is jailed on unrelated weapons charges as police scour his home for evidence.

Court records show the weapons charge dates to 2009, when
officers found a homemade silencer inside a bag with a knit hat and
a Halloween mask that they said belonged to 34-year-old Clay
Beauchamp of Delray Beach.

Beauchamp has not been charged with any crime related to the
children's deaths, but police said he was their only suspect. On
Friday, investigators sifted through his small home and towed away
cars looking for additional evidence.

After being questioned in the children's deaths by Delray Beach
police Thursday night, federal agents charged Beauchamp on the
unrelated weapons charge.

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UPDATE 3-3

Man Questioned in Deaths of Kids Found in Canal

Delray Beach, FL (AP) - Florida police say they are questioning a suspect in the deaths of two children whose bodies were stuffed into luggage and dumped into a canal.

Delray Beach Sgt. Nicole Guerriero said that Clem Beauchamp was
being questioned Thursday night. She did not release his age. Neighbors say he lives in a house that police had cordoned off.

Investigators say they have tentatively identified the children as siblings but have not released their names or if Beauchamp is related to them. They have said the girl was between 6 and 10 years old and the boy between 10 and 12.

Their bodies were found Wednesday. The girl's body was in a
duffel bag. The boy was discovered hours later in a suitcase about
a half-mile away.

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[UPDATE] 3-3 3:28p -- DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (AP) --

Police say they think they've identified the bodies of two children found dead in a South Florida canal, and they believe they're siblings.

But authorities in Delray Beach haven't released the presumed
identities and say no arrests have been made. A police spokeswoman says it's believed that the children are victims of a "domestic" situation, but declined to elaborate.

It's still not known how long the bodies were in the canal, and
autopsy reports haven't been released.

The body of a girl, believed to be 6 to 10 years old, was found
in a duffel bag Wednesday morning. The boy's body was discovered
later in the day, folded into a suitcase.

_________________________________

Delray Beach, FL (AP) - Police say they have recovered the bodies of two children in a Florida canal, one stuffed in a duffel bag, the other in suitcase.

Delray Beach police say they first found the girl in the duffel Wednesday morning in the canal that divides that community from Boca Raton.

Later, divers found the boy's body in the suitcase.

Investigators say the bodies could have been dumped from several
places since the canal runs for miles in each direction.

Authorities haven't identified either child, but they are investigating as if the cases are related.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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