Authorities in Florida have charged a 22-year-old man with the murder of his pregnant wife and her father in a grisly double homicide. Cassandritz Blanc confessed to shooting 20-year-old Martine Bernard in the head because she "disrespected" him, but did not provide a motive for murdering her father, the Sun-Sentinal reports.
Bernard’s desecrated remains were discovered early Tuesday (June 12), just over a week after she was shot inside the couple's Ft. Lauderale home. Blanc is also accused of killing his 68-year-old father-in-law, Roosevelt Bernard, whose burned body was found in an open lot near his home in Hollywood, Fla., earlier in the week.
"He gave details about the murder and said he killed Martine Bernard because she disrespected him," Hollywood Detective Orlando Almanzar wrote in an arrest report according to the Miami Herald. The report adds that "Blanc tried to dismember the body to make it easier to dispose [of]. But he was unable to remove any body parts."
Blanc dropped by his in-laws’ home Saturday, as the couple were preparing to attend a family event. According to his mother-in-law, Yvose Bernard, Blanc said he needed to pick up clothes that Martine had left behind. Blanc told police that he shot his father-in-law twice in the back, so that he wouldn’t have to see his face.
When Yvose emerged from the shower she found that the door to Martine’s old bedroom was locked and noticed Blanc wearing gloves. He apparently tried to cover things up by telling her that a Hispanic man dropped by the house, and that her husband went to go speak with him. Believing that Roosevelt would join them later, Yvose left for the family function along with her daughter, Joane Bernard, and Blanc.
Blanc later asked Yvose for a key to the home and went back to the location to stuff her husband's corpse in a trash can that he moved to an open field, where he burned the body days later. Meanwhile, Yvose, reported Roosevelt missing when he didn’t show up to the family shindig, prompting police to question Blanc, who initially stuck to his story about the Hispanic man.
Police were subsequently led back to Blanc after footage from a neighbor's surveillance camera caught him returning to the home alone. He was also recorded disposing a garbage bag filled with Martine’s remains, which led authorities to find her body inside a large garbage bin.
Although both victims were shot, their official cause of death has not been revealed. Bernard was six months pregnant at the time of her death, and had reportedly been married to Blanc since October 2017.
One of Martine’s family members expressed shock over the slayings and described Blanc as a “kind kid.” Martine’s brother, Officer Ryan Bernard a veteran, and police officer for the City of Miami Gardens, launched a GoFund Me account to raise money for the funerals.
Blanc, who had no previous criminal record, is currently charged with two counts of premeditated murder and abusing a human’s corpse. He is being held without bail at the Broward County Jail.
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