An immigrant from Liberia, who is living in Delaware, killed her baby boy and his 5-year-old half-brother on Monday for reasons the police cannot understand.
Kula Pelima, 30, drowned the two boys in a bathtub in their home.
Just hours before killing the boys, she called the police and told them she was worried about being deported. Police responded to her call by making a visit to the home, telling her there was nothing to worry about, no deportation was scheduled. Pelima was a permanent resident with no criminal history.
She later called 911, around 3:45 a.m. Monday, fearing that her visa had lapsed, Wilmington Police Chief Robert Tracy said at a news conference. “She was concerned about her immigration status,” Tracy said. “She’s a Liberian immigrant that came to the country in 1997, and she was worried about what could happen to her because her boyfriend … [the father of both boys] was picked up also by the feds on some immigration issues on Oct. 6.”
Pelima called 911 again around 8:30 a.m. and said she had drowned her sons, 4-month-old Solomon Epelle, and 5-year-old Alex Epelle, authorities said.
Tracy told DelawareOnline.com that Pelima admitted to drowning the boys during the call and sounded “controlled.”
Pelima was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and held on $2 million bond.
The boys’ father is a native of Nigeria. He was taken into custody by immigration authorities in Pennsylvania, though the couple lived together in Wilmington, where she cared for both children, the police chief said.
Victor Epelle, 38, was in the United States legally, but had violated the terms of his status, ICE said. It wasn’t immediately clear what he had done.
He was released from custody Monday on humanitarian grounds after being notified of the deaths of his sons.
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