Voodoo Played a Role in Murder-Suicide, Police Say

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The New York Sun

A Staten Island father who believed relatives were using voodoo against him drowned his two young children and then committed suicide, authorities said yesterday.

Frantz Bordes, 39, a Haitian immigrant, threw himself in front of an oncoming Q train at about 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Church Avenue station in Brooklyn, police said.

Some three hours later, his 4-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter were found in a bathtub in the family’s St. George apartment, police said. Although the water had drained by the time police discovered them shortly before midnight, autopsies indicated both children were drowned, a spokeswoman for the Medical Examiner said yesterday. The deaths were ruled homicides, she said.

Police said Bordes left seven suicide notes written in Creole and in English. They were found with his body and scattered throughout the family’s third-floor apartment on Daniel Low Terrace. Yesterday, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly described the notes as “somewhat rambling,” although police said Bordes claimed: “They’re using everything they can to destroy me, most of all voodoo.”

Police discovered the bodies of Sweitzer Bordes, 4, and Stephanie Bordes, 2, when uniformed officers went to check on them after a tip from relatives that they were home alone. Police had contacted family members to inform them of Bordes’s death and were told that Bordes typically cared for the children while their mother worked as a nurse’s aide. Police said the children’s mother, Francoise Mercier, 42, got home from work and learned her children were dead just as the officers were arriving.

Although no domestic incidents were previously reported at the home, police said they believe Bordes and Ms. Mercier, also a Haitian immigrant, had been fighting about her relatives before the murder-suicide. Police said the couple was not married, but had been living together in New York with their children for about five years.

Yesterday, neighbors suggested Bordes must have been mentally unstable to have killed the two children. “I can’t believe it,” a neighbor living one floor above the family, Mary Coleman, said. “It’s terrible to think, two little innocent kids there and something like this can happen right under your nose.”

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