Broward County

Mother who was sleeping when her two boys drowned has been charged with their deaths

Wildline Joseph, the 23-year-old mother of two young boys who drowned in a North Lauderdale community pool in May, has been charged with aggravated manslaughter, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
Wildline Joseph, the 23-year-old mother of two young boys who drowned in a North Lauderdale community pool in May, has been charged with aggravated manslaughter, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Broward County Sheriff's Office

A mother who was sleeping when her two young sons drowned in an apartment complex’s pool has been arrested as she “failed to provide proper care and supervision for the brothers,” deputies said.

At about 1 a.m. Saturday, Lauderhill police arrested Wildline Joseph, 23, on a warrant facing two counts of aggravated manslaughter of a child.

This comes two days after her boyfriend, John Lynn Jr., was arrested on the same charges. Deputies said Joseph is also “responsible for their deaths.”

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Joseph’s boys — Ja’kye Joseph, 6, and his brother Branario Minto, 5 — drowned May 22 at the Silver Palms Condominiums, which was near their home.

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Ja’kye Joseph and Branario Minto CBS4

The Department of Children and Families released a heavily redacted incident report in June that said the boys likely climbed a fence to the pool while their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother remained inside their home.

DCF has investigated Joseph’s life more than a dozen times, when she was a child and then as a mother.

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Between 2008 and 2013, DCF received six separate maltreatment reports when Joseph was a child, but BSO didn’t take Joseph away from her mother. They just referred her mother to a community behavioral health provider.

Then, when Joseph became a mother, Ja’kye and Branario were taken away from her when she was high on Flakka, a synthetic drug, at the hospital where Branario was recovering from a seizure, according to a DCF report. The two boys were given to their maternal grandmother — the same woman who had been repeatedly accused of mistreating Joseph.

The boys eventually ended up in foster care because Joseph was still with them without supervision, until several months later they were given back to her.

DCF investigators fielded six reports that the boys had been abused or neglected between 2015 and 2018, records show. There was a seventh report two days before the boys died.

One of the last reports came in December 2018 when BSO closed a report of domestic violence between Joseph and the father of her youngest children, as well as an allegation that she had “mental health issues.” The sheriff’s office said, “the children were assessed to be safe and no additional service needs were indicated.”

Five months later, Ja’kye and Branario were found floating in a pool.

Joseph has been booked into the Broward Sheriff’s Office Main Jail on a $250,000 bond.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics show that more than 700,000 children are referred to child protective agencies as a result of abuse or neglect in the U.S. each year.

Miami Herald Real Time Reporter Devoun Cetoute covers breaking news, Florida theme parks and general assignment. He attends the University of Florida and grew up in Miami. Theme parks are on his mind in and out of the office.
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