From London to Connecticut, there have been incidents of mothers killing their children, which have been attributed to pandemic-induced depression and psychosis. South Florida alone has seen at least four cases where mothers are accused of killing their children since March of 2020. The most recent example is the case of Odette Joassaint, who is believed to have strangled her 3- and 5-year-old children in Little River on Tuesday evening.
Below is a rundown of the four local cases, listed chronolgically.
UPDATE: At 3 am Patricia Ripley was arrested for first-degree murder after allegedly confessing to drowning her 9-year-old autistic child, Alejandro. Before confessing she made up a story about two black men abducting the boy. https://t.co/ga8EkyIYw5 pic.twitter.com/yZExIry2da— Jim DeFede (@DeFede) May 23, 2020
In May of 2020, Patricia Ripley bizarrely claimed that two men had "demanded drugs" and kidnapped her car with her 9-year-old son, Alejandro Ripley, inside — only to admit later that she'd drowned the boy in a canal earlier that day.
Patricia Ripley: "He’s going to be in a better place"
The 47-year-old West Kendall mother attempted to drown Alejandro, who was nonverbal and had severe autism, but her plan was thwarted when a good Samaritan rescued the boy from the water. She succeeded hours later at another canal. Ripley reportedly told Miami-Dade police that her son is "going to be in a better place."
Prosecutors have said that they'll seek the death penalty for Ripley, who remains jailed at Miami-Dade Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
Neighbors said Tinessa Hogan, 36, had been acting erratically and reciting Bible passages shortly before her little girls were found floating in a canal https://t.co/dSWR4Pp503— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) July 15, 2021
Tinessa Hogan: "Death is the only answer"In June of 2021, a mother in Broward County was arrested and accused of killing her two young daughters, ages 7 and 9, who were found dead in a canal near their Lauderhill home.
The night before the girls' bodies were found, a neighbor reportedly saw the mother, Tinessa Hogan, swimming in the canal with a Bible in her hand and offering to baptize people's children. Another neighbor said a woman believed to be Hogan was spotted a week before the deaths holding up a sign that read, "Death is the only answer."
Hogan remains in Broward County Jail awaiting trial on two charges of premeditated murder, to which she pleaded not guilty last year.
Precious Bland, the mother who cops say drowned her baby after declaring that impending COVID-19 death meant everyone needed to be baptized — and stabbed her husband and a daughter as they failed to stop her — officially was charged Saturday in Miami-Dade court. pic.twitter.com/524lT394v3— HJ (Hank) Ellison (@hjtherealj) September 7, 2021
Precious Bland: "COVID is going to kill us all"In August of 2021, Precious Bland, a mother to six children, allegedly drowned her 15-month-old baby during a baptism-gone-wrong.
According to Miami-Dade police, Bland had proclaimed that "COVID is going to kill us all" and "everyone needed to be baptized." As the baby drowned, Bland allegedly stabbed her husband and teenage daughter, who tried to stop her. Her four other children reportedly escaped the home during the incident and ran to a neighbor’s house.
Bland was charged in September with two counts of attempted second-degree murder and two counts of aggravated child abuse. She remains jailed at Miami-Dade Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
UPDATED: Dad of murdered children tells me the mother, Odette Joassaint, was long unstable, and had lost custody of a third child, a 14-y.o. girl.— David Ovalle (@DavidOvalle305) April 13, 2022
Court records show the couple also had a long history of domestic strife.
R.I.P Laural and Jeffrey Belvalhttps://t.co/tJnAEXrSTo pic.twitter.com/0OdbSJA0uP
Odette Joassaint: "I don't want them anymore"When Miami police officers responded to an apartment in Miami's Little River neighborhood on Tuesday night after several 911 hang-up calls, they stumbled upon a horrific scene: two young children, ages 3 and 5, strangled to death on a bed inside. Their mother, Odette Joassaint, was booked into a Miami-Dade jail the following morning on two counts of first-degree murder.
The 41-year-old, who admitted to strangling her toddlers to death using a red ribbon, reportedly told officers who arrived at her home to "come get them, I don’t want them anymore." Police described Joassaint as "irate" and in the midst of a mental crisis and said she told detectives that her children would "suffer less" if they were dead.
The children's father told the Miami Herald that Joassaint is unstable and had been unemployed for the past year. He also said that she'd "been begging" to move back in with him and he declined.
“I told her, ‘You are crazy. You create too much problems,’” he told the Herald.