An Overflowing Bathtub Stuffed with Clothes Hid Two Kids’ Bodies from the NYPD


Luiz C. Ribeiro/New York Daily News via Getty

Luiz C. Ribeiro/New York Daily News via Getty

The murders of two young New York City children stabbed to death were masked under a torrent of clothes in a bathtub running with water, according to police.

The bodies of the boys—Deshawn Fleming, 3, and Octavius Canada, 11 months old—were found by their father on Saturday night at a homeless shelter in the Bronx, police told the New York Post. The gruesome discovery came nearly an hour after cops brought their mother to the hospital.

“Despite the officers’ best efforts, both children succumbed to their injuries,” NYPD Deputy Chief Louis De Ceglie said at a press conference.

Officers had responded to a 911 call at around 7:20 p.m. over a carbon monoxide alarm to find the boys’ mother, 22-year-old Dimone Fleming, naked and acting erratically, police told the Post. According to the New York Daily News, Fleming had attempted to burn “stones” in the oven—potentially charcoal—which is likely what set the alarms off.

While at the third-floor apartment, they turned the running water off in the bathtub full of clothes, unaware the boys were there. Fleming was taken to a local hospital and the officers were told the boys were with their father, who was on the fourth floor of the building at the time of the first call.

“There wasn’t anything obvious to suggest there were dead kids in there,” an NYPD source told the Post. “There was no blood.”

Once he got back to the apartment, the father discovered the boys’ bodies—with stab wounds to their necks—and frantically called for help, according to the Post. He and the building staff quickly called the police again, who arrived just before 8 p.m. to find the father trying to perform CPR on them. The officers and emergency personnel also tried to resuscitate the children and brought them to another local hospital, but the children were declared dead.

“The police officers who responded—I think they did a great job,” De Ceglie said. “It’s something that they are going to have to live with and think about, probably for the rest of their lives.”

Fleming is considered a person of interest in the case and is in custody, though no charges have been filed as of Sunday afternoon. The boy’s father has been cooperative with police, according to the Post, and said he had left the apartment after a fight with Fleming the day prior and slept in his car.

Witnesses told the Post they saw Fleming walking in circles and acting irrationally, mumbling to herself outside the building.

“She was walking and stopping, and turning around, and walking and stopping, with both hands on the back of her head! Saying, ‘What I did?!, What I did?!’” said Francis Pimentel, who was waiting for a cab outside the building. “I went up to her and said, ‘Miss are you okay?’ and she stopped and looked at me, her face was crazy and then just kept walking back and forth stop[ing] and saying, ‘What I did?!, What I did?!’”

While police had responded to a previous domestic incident involving Fleming, she did not have a history of mental health issues, according to the Daily News.

Neighbor Charlotte Obiri, 47, told The New York Times the image of the boys being taken from the building remained seared in her brain and left her “throwing up.”

“They brought the baby out, and they was working on him — and then the little boy, they brought him out on a gurney, and he looked lifeless,” Obiri said. “He was naked, and he looked lifeless. I still see the image in my head.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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