Broward County

Cousin of mother accused of killing kids tells 911: “Honestly I think they are dead.”

Sophia Hines
Sophia Hines Miami

“Honestly I think they are dead,” a woman could be heard telling a 911 operator.

The chilling statement was part of an eight-minute emergency call released Monday made by the cousin of a mother accused of killing her two young children by suffocating them with a bed sheet inside a Miramar home.

Police say Sophia Hines, of Philadelphia, who was visiting her cousin Neisha Nettleford, told them that she placed a sheet over the mouth and nose of her children until they couldn’t breathe. She never explained why. Hines, who was charged with two counts of premeditated murder, remained in Broward County Jail as of Monday night.

On Friday, her attorney Betsy Benson told Miami Herald news partner CBS4 that Hines was off her medications for postpartum depression, a condition where new mothers can experience deep depression and anxiety.

The call, which came at about 5 p.m. June 8, begins with Nettleford asking for help, but not saying why.

“I just drove in and my cousin she's crying and something is wrong in the house,” she told the operator. “I don’t want to go in there.”

She said her cousin was crying and wouldn’t tell her what was going on. She said said she was just blank.

Nettleford said she was at her sister’s house when Hines called her about 12 times telling her to come home, “Now, now, now.”

Nettleford was told by the operator to go inside the house. There she found Hines’ 7-month old boy St. Leo and 3-year-old daughter Ariel not breathing.

“There’s two babies on the bed not breathing, froth coming from one of their nose and mouth and the other one is white, blank, not breathing,” she said.

Nettleford, who kept saying she was scared, went to the gate to meet rescuers. The operator, however, tried to get her close to the children.

“I need to get the phone close to the children,” the operator said.

The call ends with Nettlford saying: “I am scared. I am not going to stay in the house by myself with her.”

Carli Teproff: 305-376-3587, @CTeproff