A 43-year-old woman in Louisiana was arrested for allegedly killing her boyfriend’s 6-year-old daughter, stuffing the child’s remains into a large plastic bucket, then using a wagon to transport and drop off the bucket at the home of the victim’s mother. Hannah Landon was taken into custody on Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of young Bella Fontenelle, authorities announced.
According to a press release from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Bella’s father on Wednesday morning awoke to find his daughter and girlfriend were both missing from his home in Harahan, about 10 miles west of New Orleans. An older male child was still in the home and unharmed, JPSO said.
The father at about 7:30 a.m. arrived at the Harahan Police Station and reported the two missing. Approximately 15 minutes later, officers arrived at the father’s home on Donelon Drive and began investigating the whereabouts of the missing woman and child.
At about 8:20 a.m., the investigation moved to the home of Bella’s biological mother, located on Sedgefield Drive, which is only around the corner and less than two blocks away from Bella’s father’s residence.
“At the Sedgefield location, officers discovered the victim’s remains inside a large plastic bucket in the front yard,” the release states. “The victim was pronounced dead on the scene.”
Police then contacted the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and the agency’s Major Crimes Task Force assumed responsibility for the investigation into Bella’s death, Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said during a press conference Wednesday.
JPSO investigators say they quickly honed in on Landon, who the sheriff’s office described as an Asian female that also goes by the names “Bunnak Lim” and “Bunnak Landon,” as the primary suspect in the case.
While attempting to locate Landon, the sheriff’s office obtained Ring doorbell surveillance footage from neighbors in the area which they say showed Landon late the previous night “pulling a wagon containing a bucket down both Donelon and Sedgefield Drives.” Landon was traveling toward the home of Bella’s biological mother.
The chilling video appears to show Landon at about 9:33 p.m. casually walking down the street with the wagon and bucket in tow, making no attempts to hide the dead child, even when a white minivan drives right past her.
“We believe Bella was killed at the father’s house and then transported over to the mother’s house and then taken out of a wagon,” Lopinto said, noting that it was believed Bella was murdered Tuesday evening.
Authorities conducted an autopsy on Wednesday afternoon and determined that Bella’s manner of death was a homicide. The cause of death is being withheld for investigative reasons, according to the sheriff’s office, however, Coroner Gerry Cvitanovich said that Bella had sustained “multiple injuries” prior to her death.
Following an investigation and “extensive” interviews with Bella’s biological mother and father, authorities said that they do not believe either parent had a hand in their daughter’s death.
As the search for Landon continued, detectives at about 2 p.m. on Wednesday were notified that Landon had been admitted to a local hospital. Authorities said that Landon walked into the Harahan Police Department sometime after midnight Wednesday morning and “was eventually transported to the hospital for evaluation.”
It was not immediately clear why Landon was sent to the hospital and Sheriff Lopinto said he would not disclose that information at this stage of the investigation.
By Wednesday afternoon, authorities had obtained an arrest warrant for Landon on suspicion of first-degree murder and obstruction of justice. Upon her release from the hospital, she will be booked into the Jefferson Parish Correction Center, the release states.
Lopinto said that Landon and Bella’s father had been together for several years, though he would not comment on whether authorities had even been called to their home.
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