Feds asked to help in probe of ‘horrific’ family slaying

Mesac Damas pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery charges against his wife, Guerline Damas, in June.
Florida authorities have requested federal assistance in locating a man sought for questioning in the deaths of his wife and five children, as he is believed to be in Haiti, officials said Monday.

Investigators stopped short of calling Mesac Damas, 33, a suspect, Collier County, Florida, Sheriff Kevin Rambosk told reporters. “Right now, it’s an open investigation. We are investigating every single potential possibility with no limitations,” Rambosk said. The body of Damas’ wife, Guerline Damas, 32, was found Saturday in the family’s Naples, Florida, home along with those of the couple’s five children — Michzach, 9; Marven, 6; Maven, 5; Megan, 3; and Morgan, 11 months old, police said. Rambosk would not say Monday how the five were killed, but he described the scene as “horrific.” Damas was last seen about 9 p.m. Thursday at the Naples restaurant where he was a cook, authorities said. He is thought to have arrived about 7 a.m. ET Friday at Miami International Airport. He boarded a flight for Haiti about 10 a.m., Rambosk said. Collier County authorities have asked for help from the FBI and from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in locating Damas, Rambosk said. Investigators met with the FBI on Monday. Rambosk on Monday also appealed to the public for information in the case.

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Damas’ GMC Yukon Denali, found at the Miami airport, was being returned to Naples for processing, the sheriff said. Authorities have been in contact with Damas’ family, Rambosk said, but do not know if he has contacted relatives. The Damases had been married about 10 years, Rambosk said. He did not know how long they had lived in Naples. Damas is thought to be a U.S. citizen, he said. Authorities said the couple had a history of domestic violence. Police said Mesac Damas was arrested in January, and Rambosk said there may have been an earlier incident. Collier County sheriff’s Capt. Chris Roberts said Sunday that Damas pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery charges against his wife in June. Roberts said he did not believe Damas served any jail time. Rambosk said Monday he does not believe a restraining order was in place regarding the couple. The six bodies were found about 6:30 p.m. Saturday, a day after police had visited the home to check on the family, Roberts said. When a family member had not heard from a resident at the home, the relative asked authorities on Friday to do a welfare check on the house, Roberts said. Police knocked on the door and got no answer, he said, but officers saw no indications to arouse their suspicions. The following morning, the family member became more concerned and filed a missing persons report, Rambosk said. Later, authorities requested from property management a key to the house and an authorization to enter.