Louisiana police say a young girl was killed, put in a bucket, and left in her mother’s front yard.
At 7:30 a.m. on April 26, Bella Fontenelle’s father reported her missing after waking up to find her gone from their home, said Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto at a news conference.
At the same time, her father said that his girlfriend, 43-year-old Hannah Landon, who also went by the name Bunnak Lim, was missing.
The other daughter of the father was home at the time, the sheriff said, but her age was not given.
Lopinto said that officers from the Harahan Police Department started looking around the neighborhood around the father’s house and chose to check the girl’s biological mother’s house, which was just a block away.
Lopinto said that when the police came, they saw what looked like a 10-gallon bucket on the mother’s lawn.
Lopinto said that her daughter’s body was inside.
The sheriff said it was clear that this was now a murder case, so cops started looking for Landon. A later exam showed that Fontenelle had indeed been killed.
Lopito said that neighbors showed police security video of Landon walking down the street while pulling a wagon with the bucket inside.
The sheriff says that the police think Fontenelle was killed at her father’s house and then taken in the bucket on the wagon to her mother’s yard.
Later, Landon was found at a hospital nearby and was taken into arrest. A tweet from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office says that she is being charged with first-degree murder.
Lopito said that Landon lived in the house and had been with Fontenelle’s father for a long time. He said that the two girls lived with both their father and their mother.
The sheriff’s office did not say what could have been the reason for the killing or what Landon’s relationship was with Fontenelle’s mother.
Lopito said that after many conversations, the police did not think that the girl’s mother or father had anything to do with her death.
Fontenelle went to St. Matthew the Apostle Catholic School. Lopito said that Fontenelle’s family had been told and that the school was taking steps to help the staff and students deal with the loss of a friend.
“On April 26, 2023, we were heartbroken to hear that a child had been killed for no reason in our town,” Harahan Police Chief Edward Lepre wrote in a Facebook post. “As Chief of Police, I want to reassure you that Harahan is a great and safe city.”
The probe is still going on, Lopito said.
Harahan is a New Orleans suburb.
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