MIRAMAR, Fla. (WSVN) – Police have arrested and charged a woman with premeditated murder after her two children were found dead inside a Miramar home, Wednesday afternoon.
Forty-year-old Sophia Hines was taken into custody, early Thursday morning, and charged with premeditated murder.
According to Miramar Police, Hines, her 3-year-old daughter and 7-month-old son were visiting from Philadelphia and staying at a female relative’s home in Miramar at the time of the incident. Just after 4 p.m., Hines called this relative and asked her to come home right away. When the relative got home, she saw the the children lying on their backs and not moving.
Police have identified the boy as St. Leo Hines Singleton and the girl as Ariel Hines. Both had different fathers.
The boy’s father, Anthony Singleton, told reporters that Hines spoiled the children at their home in Philadelphia.
“She would be the last person that I would ever think that would do something like this to a kid,” said Singleton. “She spoiled her daughter. Parents tend to do that. My son she spoiled him. We were family, and I did not see this coming.”
Singleton said he was planning to adopt Ariel.
According to police, Hines admitted to placing a bedsheet over both of her children’s mouths, one at a time, until they were no longer breathing. She said she suffocated the baby first, then the toddler.
“It was rough when the officer first told me upon arrival that it was criminal,” said neighbor Blossom Gabbidon.
Fire Rescue had originally responded to the home Wednesday afternoon, after a call came in about a heart attack at the relative’s small apartment, located along the 6100 block of Southwest 38th Street. “We had received a 911 phone call of a medical emergency involving two children,” said Miramar Police spokesperson Tania Rues.
Authorities said CPR was performed on the children, but it was too late and they were pronounced dead on the scene.
A friend of the family said she is certain Hines cared for her children. “She loved them so much. She spoiled them kids,” she said. “Like, her daughter, she always had her with her.”
Palmer Assad, who told 7News he is a friend of the family, stopped by the home with snacks for the children, unaware of what had happened.
Assad said Hines had been trying to get home to Philadelphia and was under a lot of stress. “I tried to come out, and I prayed for her, and I tell her, ‘You must pray and trust in God,'” he said, “‘because there is nothing too hard for God, and God sees you and God knows you, and He will carry you, too.'”
Assad said, had he known the children were in danger, he would have done something. “If I’d known she was going to kill those children, I’d take them. I would take them,” he said.
A neighbor said he would see Hines with both children walking along their block. Hines would often knock on neighbors’ doors asking for money, said the neighbor.
“It’s really, really sad. Oh, God. I’m really sorry to hear that,” said another neighbor. “It shocked me ’cause, you know, we don’t hear no sound, we don’t hear no quarreling,” said the neighbor.
Detectives said while the mother has admitted her alleged crime, she has not given a motive.
Hines is being held at the Broward County Jail without bond. She is expected to appear before a judge, Friday.
Singleton said he plans to travel to Florida soon.
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