"Yes, I Killed Them," Says Man Accused of Killing Wife and Five Kids Then Fleeing to Haiti

(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Photo: Mesac Damas is arrested in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday, Sept. 21, 2009.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) A southwest Florida man has been charged with six counts of first-degree murder in the slayings of his wife and five children, authorities said.

Mesac Damas was in custody at the Collier County Jail in Naples after he was released by authorities in Haiti, police said. No information on a court date was available.

As Damas was being led out of jail in Haiti, he told a reporter from the Naples Daily News that he killed his family.

"I am going to be buried next to my family," Damas said as he was being led out of jail in Haiti. "Yes, I killed them."

On Monday, he told the AP that he had planned to surrender and returned to say goodbye to his family, but did not respond when asked if he killed his wife.

The 33-year-old boarded a flight from Miami International Airport to Haiti on Friday. The following evening, deputies found his wife, 32-year-old Guerline Damas, and their five children, ages 11 months to 9 years, slain in a Naples town house.

Mesac Damas was captured by police outside a hotel in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, and the Florida Sheriff's Office said its information does not support Damas' contention that he intended to surrender.

"He missed an awful lot of opportunities to turn himself in," Collier County Capt. Chris Roberts said at a press conference in Naples on Tuesday.

Sheriff Kevin Rambosk said his agency had asked Haitian authorities to extradite Damas, who is a U.S. citizen.

(AP Photo/Marie Aimee)
Photo: Guerline and Mesac Damas in their April 14, 2007 wedding photo.

The family was discovered Saturday after a relative filed a missing persons report. The sheriff's office has not said how Guerline Damas and her children were killed, but a relative said detectives told the family their throats had been slit.

Rambosk said investigators are still awaiting the autopsy results.

Authorities have said there was a history of domestic abuse between Guerline and Mesac Damas, who had been married for two years and together for 10. Mesac Damas was charged with misdemeanour battery in January after he struck Guerline Damas while she held their youngest child, a baby girl, in her arms.

He pleaded no contest and was given 12 months probation and ordered to attend parenting classes and a battery intervention program. The state Department of Children and Families had been monitoring the family and visited their home just three days before the killings. The caseworker found nothing amiss.