Philadelphia Mom Admits to Suffocating Infant Boy, 3-Year-Old Girl During Florida Visit: Police

What to Know

  • The mother of two young children found dead inside a Florida home was taken into custody and charged with two counts of premeditated murder.
  • Police responded to the home following a frantic 911 call from a female, but the 7-month-old boy and 3-year-old girl were pronounced dead.

A 40-year-old Philadelphia woman is accused of using a sheet to suffocate her 7-month-old son and 3-year-old daughter during a visit to South Florida.

Sophia Hines, who lives on Bridge Street in Philadelphia's Frankford neighborhood, was booked into the Broward County Jail early Thursday, records show. She's charged with two counts of premeditated murder.

Authorities responded to the 6100 block of Southwest 38th Street near 62nd Avenue in Miramar, Florida Wednesday afternoon following a 911 call for a medical emergency involving two children. [[382338121, C]]

Miramar police spokeswoman Tania Rues said officers found the children lying on a bed inside an apartment behind a home. The officers performed CPR on the children until fire rescue crews arrived and declared Ariel Hines and St. Leo Hines dead.

Hines had spent the previous week visiting her relative in the Fort Lauderdale suburb. She called her relative Wednesday and told the relative to "come home now," according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by NBC10.

When police initially arrived, they found two people standing outside the home, including a crying Hines, who directed them to the apartments in the back.

After being read her rights, Hines told investigators she had held a sheet over the mouth of 7-month-old St. Leo then used the same sheet to suffocate Ariel, 3, said the criminal complaint. [[382439171, C]]

The infant's father, Anthony Singleton, cried as he talked about the boy and his stepdaughter.

"I don’t know how this could happen, I don’t know what made her go that way. I don’t know what made her go to Florida," he said.

He said Hines left for Florida without telling him.

Hines didn't tell police why she killed her children, according to the criminal complaint, but a relative told NBC10's Rosemary Connors that the family learned she may have been battling postpartum depression and taking medication for it at some point.

Learn more about postpartum depression here. If you are having symptoms or see symptoms in someone you know, click here for help from Healthy Minds Philly or here for national crisis resources.  

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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