PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – A Haitian man detained in the Florida slaying of his wife and their five children said Monday that he returned to his native Caribbean nation ” to say goodbye to my family.”
Mesac Damas, who was captured Monday morning in Haiti’s capital, told The Associated Press in an interview at the police station where he was being held that he had planned to surrender.
“I was going to turn myself in. You see I’ve got my suit on and everything,” Damas said as police led him from a backroom where he was interrogated to a jail cell. He said he returned to Haiti from Florida “mostly to say goodbye to my family.”
Damas, 33, boarded a flight here from Miami on Friday, one day before the bodies of his wife and their children, ages 9 years to 11 months, were found slain inside their apartment in Naples, Florida, according to police.
Georges Huguens Dieu, a brother of the slain woman, came to the police station with photographs of his sister after hearing that Damas was in custody.
Damas was hiding in a house next door to a low-budget motel when he was captured by a motorcycle unit of the national police, police spokesman Frantz Lerebours said. He declined to say how they found Damas.
Wearing a blue suit over a white T-shirt, Damas was interrogated at the police station near the Port-au-Prince airport with his hands restrained behind his back by plastic ties. As he was later escorted down a hallway to the jail cell, his eyes were puffy and he shouted he did not want anyone to touch him.
“I don’t want no pain, no suffering,” he said.
Damas has not been charged in the slayings. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office in southwestern Florida said he was wanted for questioning as a person of interest.
The victims were identified as Guerline Damas, 32, and her children: Michzach, 9; Marven, 6; Maven, 5; Megan, 3; and 11-month-old Morgan. Police would not say how they died.
Family members in Florida say they had urged Guerline Damas, a Haitian immigrant, to leave her husband because he was violent. Mackindy Dieu told the AP that Mesac Damas was physically and verbally abusive toward his sister, choking her once as she was holding their infant.