Florida police say they are working with federal investigators to locate a man who fled to Haiti after his wife and five young children were found dead in their apartment over the weekend, victims of a grisly murder.
The bodies of Guerline Damas, 32, and her five children — ranging in age from 11 months to 9 years — were found inside a Naples, Fla., apartment complex at 6 p.m. Saturday, according to investigators.
"In the 30 years that I've been in Collier County ... this is certainly the most horrific and violent scene that our community has ever seen," Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said during a news conference with reporters Monday. "This is the worst of the worst."
Rambosk said Florida police are coordinating with the FBI and ICE to reach Damas' husband, Mesac, who they say drove to Miami International Airport on Friday morning and boarded a flight to Haiti. Damas, 33, reportedly has family there.
"We will send investigators over to talk with him find out what he knows," Rambosk said. Collier County sheriffs have no jurisdiction outside the country. The FBI and ICE have reached out to the Haitian government about the case and are awaiting word, he said.
Mesac Damas' car was found at the Miami airport and is being transferred back to Collier County for investigation. Rambosk would not say whether any evidence has been recovered from the vehicle.
Family members contacted authorities Thursday saying they hadn't heard from Guerline Damas. A missing person report was filed the next day, and on Saturday, the sheriff's office entered the home in a gated community in Naples and found the bodies, Collier County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Michelle Batten said.
Authorities say Mesac Damas was last seen at about 9 p.m. Thursday at Miller's Ale House in Naples, where he worked as a cook. He arrived at the Miami airport Friday morning and boarded a flight to Haiti.
The man's father, Jean Damas Sr., confirmed Sunday that his son was in Haiti and said the family had been in touch with him since he departed. "He called his brother from there," he said.
Damas Sr. said he believes his son killed his wife and five young children, and told the Naples Daily News that his son believed his wife was seeing another man. Relations between the two had soured since January, he said.
Records on the Collier County Clerk of Courts Web site reportedly show Damas has prior arrests for domestic violence.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.