Bond reduced for mother of kids who died in fire
A 22-year-old woman facing two charges of aggravated manslaughter of a child in the deaths of her two young daughters in a fire made her first court appearance Saturday morning before a sympathetic judge.
“This is absolutely horrific what happened to these two children,” said Broward Judge Joseph A. Murphy. “It’s the worst tragedy that could befall a family.”
Jeny Yosselin Melendez-Ramirez stood silent and motionless for the entire four minutes of her bond hearing at 10 a.m., almost MelendezRamirez FoodTown customers select live crabs in the very popular seafood department. Foodtown has been in Davie for 11 years, owned by an Indian family and independent of the supermarket chain in the Northeast with the same name (and the catchy ad jingle known to New Yorkers of a certain age). The seafood counter at Foodtown in Davie features a dizzying array of fish and shellfish.
exactly a week to the hour that she learned her children Sofia Melendez, 5, and Abigail Espinoza, 5 months, died when their third-floor apartment caught fire in Pompano Beach.
The state attorney recommended bonds of $150,000 on each charge.
Calling the case a “horrible, horrible tragedy,” the judge asked, “Why $150,000 per count?”
The state pointed to the details of the arrest report that indicated MelendezRamirez told Broward sheriff’s detectives she went to work Oct. 13 and left her sister Saydi Melendez, 16, baby-sitting her two daughters, as well as her 2-year-old son.
But Saydi Melendez told detectives that her sister told her to go to Walmart with the boy to get baby food, which meant leaving the two girls in the apartment unattended.
“The court is setting bond at $10,000 count one,
$10,000 count two [and ordering] no contact with the family, and the court will give GPS monitoring as requested by the state,” Murphy ruled.
Neighbors at the Banyan Club apartments at 1830 N.E. 48th St. called 911 about
9:30 a.m. after seeing smoke coming from apartment 314. Firefighters doused the flames, then found the bodies of the two girls inside a bedroom, investigators said.
Sheriff’s detectives and special agents with Homeland Security Investigations arrested Melendez-Ramirez during a traffic stop off West McNab Road in Pompano Beach on Friday afternoon.
Saydi Melendez and the 2-year-old boy were placed in state custody.
The cause of the fire was still being investigated.