Rocco Parascandola, John Annese
New York Daily News
Heartbroken relatives of the 11-month and 3-year-old boys found fatally stabbed in an overflowing Bronx bathtub say their mother, suspected of killing them, is obsessed with demons.
“They were beautiful children and they did not deserve to die. It’s simple as that,” Beverly Hill, the paternal grandmother of 11-month-old victim Octavius Canada told the Daily News. “They were beautiful and they had no reason to die.”
Cops believe the boys’ mother, Dimone “Brenda” Fleming, stabbed them to death. Fleming, 22, is undergoing psychiatric care and has not yet been charged.
Octavius and his 3-year-old sibling, Daishawn Fleming, were found repeatedly stabbed in the neck and torso Saturday night in a family shelter on Echo Place near the Grand Concourse in Mount Hope, police sources said.
Octavius’ great aunt, Casey Canada, said Fleming had been talking obsessively about “demons.”
“She thought the kids were devils. She said she was afraid of them,” said Casey Canada, who looked after both boys and raised their father, Columbus Canada, like a second mother.
But Casey Canada was baffled why Fleming would allegedly take her children’s lives.
“She definitely loved them for sure,” Casey Canada said. “That wasn’t fake.”
Fleming, who went by the nickname “Brenda,” clashed with her own relatives and Canada’s family, Casey Canada said.
“There wasn’t a moment I was around her she wasn’t loving with the children — but with adults she could change in a moment,” the great aunt said. “She just snapped.”
Cops were initially called to the scene because Fleming was acting erratically but didn’t find the young children, who were submerged in a bathtub covered with clothes and a bed sheet, sources said.
Octavius’ father, Columbus Canada, arrived minutes after police left and found the youngsters, then desperately tried to revive them before police returned.
Columbus has three other children from prior relationships who were all close to the murdered two boys, his mother said.
“How is he going to tell them? They’ve gotten close to these other children, to their brothers,” Hill said. “They can’t understand.”
“[Columbus] is not doing well at all. He can’t get over the fact that she did this. He don’t even understand what happened. Who would do something like this?” Hill added. “The whole family is like, ‘Why?’ If you got a problem, you could have said something to somebody. You don’t have to f—ing kill the kids.”
Canada works dutifully to support his children, Hill said, and his family barely had the chance to get to know know little Octavius.
“They liked to play with cars, they liked to play with trucks, they liked video games. They liked to go school and play with crayon,” Canada’s sister Shakira Canada said of the two slain boys. “They liked to go to the park. And now they can’t do any of that.”
Casey Canada helped raise her nephew Columbus, describing herself as like a second mom to him, and enjoyed visits from him and the two slain boys.
“Octavius would never cry — and you know babies, they cry about everything…. He was a happy go-lucky happy baby,” Casey Canada said. “Daishawn just wanted to play with toys. When he came over, he just wanted to play with blocks.”
Hill said she didn’t want to speculate on Fleming’s motives.
“I don’t know and I don’t care. All I know is that my grandkids are f—ing dead,” she said.
“They shouldn’t have died. That shouldn’t have happened. And her a— ain’t dead. She should have killed her own f—ing self.”