Police say a 16-year-old killed his mother and then spent days living with her decomposing body in the family's northeast Miami-Dade condominium.
The body of 35-year-old Renette Emile was found late Wednesday in a fourth-floor unit at the Jade Winds Condominiums at 1710 Northeast 191st Street, Miami-Dade Police spokesman Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said.
Zabaleta said no one had heard from Emile in more than a week, and officers were called to the home after her ex-boyfriend, who is the father of her youngest son, couldn't get a hold of her.
The teen, identified by police as Kit Darrant, and Emile's 3-year-old son had been living in the unit for several days as her body was decomposing nearby, police said.
Darrant, who arrived home shortly after officers made the disturbing discovery, was detained for questioning and confessed to killing his mother, police said.
The cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner, and authorities said the teen faces a charge of second-degree murder.
The State Attorney's Office said that the matter is under investigation and that it cannot comment any further on the case.
Darrant and his mother had an argument on Tuesday, March 27 after he stayed out late on a school night, police said in his arrest affidavit.
They alleged that he went to this bedroom and began planning how to kill his mother, deciding to strangle her. He went to her bedroom and choked her, making her unconscious, and after he realized that she was still breathing, he stabbed her numerous times, police said.
His 3-year-old brother was sleeping in the condominium at the time, according to police.
Darrant began cleaning his mother's bedroom and hiding evidence the next morning, and even said that he hosted a gathering of friends in the home four days after he killed his mother, police said.
Darrant is a student at Miami's Krop Senior High School, according to police.
The 3-year-old was placed in the custody of Emile's sister, Janet Baker.
"He's fine, I'm taking him to get something to eat," Baker said, as she left the apartment complex Thursday. "We're just praying, that's all."
Zabaleta said police had responded to a domestic disturbance between Emile and the teen last month, and officers were called to the home just last week after the son was reported to have been driving recklessly.
A neighbor who didn't want to be identified said the teen had been arrested for vandalism and was sent to boot camp by his mother.
Baker confirmed the teen had been sent to a boot camp.
"We thought he would have been better by sending him to boot camp," she said.
The neighbor also said the teen had been selling things out of the apartment earlier this week, including a TV, and that the house had a bad odor coming from inside for the past few days.
A childhood friend and relative of Emile said her son was always a handful, but she worked hard to give him a good life, taking him out of a tough neighborhood to a safer one.
"She lived by the rules, went to church, tried to pray, tried to see if she could get some help for her boy," the friend said. "I never thought he would take it to this level. You know, maybe steal your mother's purse, money ... but to actually kill your mom?"