HARAHAN, La. (WTVO) — A woman has been charged after her boyfriend’s six-year-old daughter was found dead and stuffed in a bucket in her mother’s yard.
Bella Fontenelle, 6, was reported missing last Wednesday by her father after he woke up and found her gone from the house, according to the Miami Herald. The man also reported that his live-in girlfriend, 43-year-old Hannah Landon, was also missing.
Police launched an investigation, obtaining surveillance video from a neighbor that showed a woman matching Landon’s description dragging a large bucket on a wagon, according to the New York Post.
The girl’s biological mother lived just a block away. Officers found what appeared to be a 10-gallon bucket on the mother’s lawn when they arrived. Fontenelle’s body was inside.
Officials think that Fontenelle was killed at her father’s house before being put in bucket and transported to her mother’s lawn.
Landon reportedly arrived at the Harahan Police station shortly after, asking for help.
“She seemed a little bit out of it. She was asking for a transport so they called for an ambulance to come pick her up and once the ambulance came to pick her up, they transported her to a local hospital to be evaluated,” Harahan Police Chief Edward Lepre said.
Landon was discharged from the hospital on Thursday morning and has been charged with First-Degree Murder and Obstruction of Justice.
A court filing showed that Landon and the girl’s mother had gotten into a physical altercation at a swim meet back in 2021.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said that neither the father nor mother are believed to have been involved in Fontenelle’s death.
Fontenelle’s aunt, Bianca Cano, has started a GoFundMe to help Fontenelle’s mother with “funeral costs, expenses, etc.”
“I’d like to start by thanking each and everyone of you for your beautiful words , condolences, and prayers,” Cano wrote. “Where do I start… my beautiful Bella… the world is so unjust. You were given to us for 6 amazing years. You were beyond perfection. Your beautiful little voice, your funny personality, the way you danced, the way you were so delicate and fragile, your smile, your laugh, the way expressed yourself. I can go on and on about how amazing this little soul was. My sisters two daughters were what gave her life meaning and strength to go on each and everyday. This senseless and heinous act has forever destroyed my family. No words can describe the pain that is running through our bodies. It’s truly inhumane.”