NAPLES, Fla. — The husband of a woman found dead in a Florida apartment along with her five young children boarded a flight for Haiti, and police said Sunday the couple had a history of domestic violence calls to their homes over the past decade.
Mesac Damas, 33, who has family in Haiti, left Miami International Airport on Friday, said Collier County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Michelle Batten. Sheriff's officials said they want to talk to Damas, who is a person of interest. They were not calling him a suspect.
The victims found Saturday were Guerline Damas, 32, and her children: Michzach, 9; Marven, 6; Maven, 5; Megan, 3; and 11-month-old Morgan. Batten would not say how they died.
Family members contacted authorities Friday saying they hadn't heard from the mother. A deputy went to the home and knocked on the front door but got no answer, said Capt. Chris Roberts of the sheriff's special investigations division.
He did not look through any of the apartment's windows.
"With the information the deputy had, I think what he did was reasonable," Roberts said.
A missing person report was filed Saturday, and the sheriff's office later entered the home in a gated community in Naples in southwest Florida and found the bodies, Batten said.
"In no uncertain terms, this is the most horrific and violent event this community has ever experienced," Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said.
Roberts said the couple had been married two years but together for about 10. Police had been called a handful of times to their homes since 2000 for domestic disturbances, he said.
Damas on Thursday night left Miller's Ale House in Naples, where he worked as a cook. His car was found at the airport and investigators were checking it for evidence.
Roberts said the children attended school on Thursday but were absent Friday. Their mother works at a local Publix supermarket and did not show up on Friday either.
The sheriff's office has declined to release details of how the six were killed.
The man's father, Jean Damas Sr., told the Naples Daily News that his son had called his brother from Haiti.