Sunday, February 25, 2018
Public safety

Ohio man fatally stabs girlfriend, baby, then himself in Brooksville gated community

BROOKSVILLE — Roseanna Sanson lived in fear of what her boyfriend, Jamil Etayem, might do to her and her infant son.

"Jamil has threatened to kill my 9-month-old baby if I didn't do what he wanted," Sanson told sheriff's investigators in a written statement last month. "Lately, about three times a week, I have to cry and beg and pry knives out of his hand because he says he's going to kill himself."

On Thursday, Etayem made good on his threats.

The 28-year-old stabbed Sanson, 23, and her son, Carter, multiple times, then turned a knife on himself in the home the couple was renting in a gated golf course community south of Brooksville, Hernando County authorities said.

A neighbor in the Hernando Oaks community heard arguing at the house during the afternoon and grew concerned when no lights came on at night and called the Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Al Nienhuis said. Deputies arrived at 4419 Caliquen Drive about 10:15 p.m. to find the bodies of Etayem, Sanson and her baby inside.

Nienhuis called the scene "horrific."

Thursday's violence appeared to be the culmination of a volatile relationship. Etayem was under a court order not to have contact with Sanson.

Deputies were called to the residence Aug. 20 after receiving a call that Etayem might want to harm himself. When they arrived, Etayam said the couple had argued that morning, and he thought Sanson called to "provide for more drama," according to a sheriff's report.

Etayem told authorities he was fine and didn't want to harm himself or anyone else. He was not taken into custody, and no charges were filed.

On Aug. 24, Sanson called 911 again and said Etayem had locked himself in the bathroom and threatened to cut his wrists in the shower. She told deputies that earlier that morning, Etayem had grabbed her by the arms and held her on the bed with his knee. She said Etayem covered her mouth so her visiting sister wouldn't hear her scream.

Sanson said Etayem had threatened to kill her and her baby and had kicked them out of the house several times.

"Jamil pushes me to the floor, even when I'm holding my son," she wrote in a statement. "He also has pushed me on top of the baby."

Sanson said she told Etayem that morning that she was going to leave him to live with her sister in Ohio. At that point, Sanson told deputies, Etayem locked himself in the master bathroom with a knife and told her he was going to kill himself.

Etayem denied that, but acknowledged they had argued that morning and that he had held her down on the bed. Deputies noted a small bruise on her arm and thigh. Etayem said they were sustained earlier in the week, when the two were "horsing around."

Etayem was arrested and charged with domestic battery. He was released from the Hernando County Detention Center the next day after posting bail. Court records showed a no-contact order was still in effect Thursday.

Nienhuis said deputies directed Sanson to local resources for domestic violence victims.

It was not clear Friday whether either Sanson or Etayem had jobs.

Sanson was born and raised in Northfield, Ohio, the youngest of four siblings, her father, Ron Sanson, told the Times.

"She was good," said Sanson, of Myrtle Beach, S.C. "She was smart."

Sanson said he had not spoken to or seen his daughter in several years because of a family dispute. Other relatives reached by the Times declined to comment at length.

The identity and other details about Carter's biological father were not known Friday.

"Carter was her everything," said her sister, Brittany Sanson.

Known to friends and relatives as "Jimmy," Etayem married Tabatha Muntz, then 26, about six years ago, said Etayem's former sister-in-law.

The newlyweds left their hometown of Swedesboro, N.J., moving to Ohio for no clear reason, said the sister-in-law, Tamara White.

"He seemed like a normal guy — stable," said White, 32, of Penns Grove, N.J. "It's against his religion to be suicidal, anyway."

Etayem was a devout Christian and a good husband and father, said his former father-in-law, George Muntz.

Etayem left his wife and two children in Ohio less than a year ago. Records show the divorce was finalized last month.

The marriage with Tabatha ended civilly, George Muntz said, and she and the children moved in with Etayem's parents. They are now 5 and 6. His son, the 5-year-old, has cerebral palsy.

Muntz said he did not believe the news of the murder-suicide.

"He did not do it," Muntz said. "I know the boy is good."

Times staff writer Danny Valentine, photojournalist Octavio Jones and researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report. Tony Marrero can be reached at (352) 848-1431.

     
     
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