Make us your home page

DCF had investigated children found in Delray Beach canal

WEST PALM BEACH — The safety of two children who were found stuffed into luggage in a canal had been investigated by state officials years before they were killed, Florida's child welfare agency confirmed Tuesday, adding that no investigations were open at the time of their deaths.

Elisa Cramer, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Children and Families, said the agency had "prior involvement" with the family of Jermaine McNeil, 10, and Ju'tyra Allen, 6, whose bodies were discovered last week in Delray Beach.

The DCF wouldn't detail its involvement with the family, but it said it had no open investigations into the family since 2005. It said it would release more details related to the case "as quickly as possible."

No charges have been filed in the children's killings, but police have said they have only one suspect: Clem Beauchamp, 34, of Delray Beach, with whom the children lived. Police said they also consider him a suspect in the death of the children's mother, Felicia Brown, whose body was discovered in a dump last year.

Beauchamp is being held in a federal jail on an unrelated firearms charge.

A Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office report from Nov. 5, 2004, says a DCF investigator was at a West Palm Beach home where Jermaine lived at the time, following up on a report of domestic abuse. It says marijuana was found within the child's reach, though the home's occupants denied it was theirs, and it resulted in no charges.

At the time, the Sheriff's Office said it found no evidence of child neglect.

DCF had investigated children found in Delray Beach canal 03/08/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 8:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours