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5 children, woman found dead in US apartment

THE husband of a woman found dead in a Florida apartment along with her five young children boarded a flight for Haiti, and police said yesterday the couple had a history of domestic violence calls to their homes over the past decade.

Mesac Damas, 33, who has family in Haiti, left Miami International Airport on Friday, said Collier County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Michelle Batten. Sheriff's officials said they want to talk to Damas, who is a person of interest. They were not calling him a suspect.

The victims found Saturday were Guerline Damas, 32, and her children: Michzach, 9; Marven, 6; Maven, 5; Megan, 3; and 11-month-old Morgan. Batten would not say how they died.

Family members contacted authorities Friday saying they hadn't heard from the mother. A deputy went to the home and knocked on the front door, but got no answer, said Capt. Chris Roberts of the sheriff's special investigations division.

A missing person report was filed Saturday, and the sheriff's office later entered the home in a gated community in Naples in southwest Florida and found the bodies, Batten said.

"In no uncertain terms, this is the most horrific and violent event this community has ever experienced," Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said.

Roberts said the couple had been married two years but together for about 10. Police had been called a handful of times to their homes since 2000 for domestic disturbances, he said.

Damas on Thursday night left Miller's Ale House in Naples, where he worked as a cook. His car was found at the airport and investigators were checking it for evidence.

Roberts said the children attended school on Thursday but were absent Friday. Their mother works at a local Publix supermarket and did not show up on Friday either.

The sheriff's office has declined to release details of how the six were killed.

The man's father, Jean Damas Sr., told the Naples Daily News that his son had called his brother from Haiti. Roberts said local investigators were working with U.S. agencies that can assist them in Haiti. Any extradition would take time, Roberts said.

Damas Sr. also said his son and his wife have had domestic problems. A phone message left Sunday by The Associated Press for Damas Sr. was not immediately returned.

Collier County court records show Mesac Damas has prior charges for domestic violence against his wife. Roberts said that in January, Damas pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge against his wife.

Haitian police spokesman Frantz Lerebours could not immediately be reached for comment. A message was also left with the FBI.


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