DELRAY BEACH — The boy and girl whose bodies were found stuffed into luggage and thrown into a South Florida canal are believed to be the children of a woman found dead in a trash area last year, police said Friday.
Investigators said they have identified siblings Jermaine McNeil, 10, and Ju'tyra Allen, 6, as the children found in the canal. They believe their mother, Felicia Brown, is the woman whose body was found in August.
Sgt. Nicole Guerriero, a spokeswoman for the Delray Beach police, said the three lived with Clem Beauchamp, who investigators say is their only suspect in the deaths. He has not been charged with their slayings but is being held on an unrelated weapons charge.
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 they said belonged to Beauchamp, 34. On Friday, investigators sifted through his small home and towed away cars.
After Beauchamp was questioned in the children's deaths by Delray Beach police Thursday night, federal agents arrested him on the weapons charge, which will keep him behind bars as the investigation continues.
Beauchamp's neighbors have described a complicated family situation in which multiple children who had different mothers lived with him. In 2008, Beauchamp fought an ex-girlfriend for — and won — the right to have two children live with him. Neighbors said another girlfriend was the mother of other children who lived with him.
"I'm there to make sure they do their homework, to give them the proper guidance that they would need to succeed in life," he told a judge at an August 2008 custody hearing. "Being a father means more than just making the kid. You actually got to be there for them. And I'm prepared to do all that."
Beauchamp has a lengthy criminal record and has spent time in jail.
Margaret Gissone, 22, said Beauchamp hit her sister, his ex-girlfriend, several times.
"He's got a mean streak to him," she said.
The two children's bodies were found in the water Wednesday. The girl's body was stuffed into a duffel bag, and the boy's was in a suitcase.