Jean Aponte: Army veteran accused of killing wife and son leaves newborn unharmed before attempting suicide

Jean Aponte: Army veteran accused of killing wife and son leaves newborn unharmed before attempting suicide
Jean Carlos Aponte fatally stabbed his wife and child before attempting to end his own life (Broward County Jail)

Warning: This article contains a recollection of crime and can be triggering to some, readers’ discretion advised.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

PLANTATION, FLORIDA: A 40-year-old father stands accused of murdering his 38-year-old wife and their 2-year-old son.

Jean Carlos Aponte allegedly stabbed them both in a manner described as "traumatic" before attempting to end his own life.

Aponte, aged 40, was apprehended on Saturday and charged with two counts of first-degree premeditated murder in the deaths of his young son Ethan Aponte and Sara Ashley Gama, as reported by Law&Crime.

Presently, Jean Carlos Aponte is being detained in jail without bond as per Law&Crime

Police discovered deceased Ethan and Sara inside the family's residence

On Tuesday, March 26, officers from the Plantation Police Department responded to a welfare check request at approximately noon for Aponte's family residence in the 1000 block of NW 97th Avenue, situated approximately 35 miles north of Miami.

Ethan's grandparents were reportedly the ones who made the welfare check request.

Upon their arrival, first responders discovered Ethan and Sara deceased inside the home and were pronounced dead at the scene.

A male adult, later identified as Aponte, was found unconscious but alive within the premises.

Emergency medical personnel were dispatched, and Aponte was transported to a local hospital for a suspected self-inflicted drug overdose.

Aponte remained hospitalized until Saturday, March 27, upon which he was released and subsequently booked into Broward County Jail. 

Fortunately, the couple's newborn child, who was also found in the residence, was unharmed. The grandparents took custody of the infant.

According to the police warrant, the 2-year-old boy had four stab wounds on his neck and injuries on his hand as he tried to defend himself. 

Authorities said Ethan was found face down, floating in the pool, and Sara was found on the kitchen floor. 

Ethan's cause of death was determined to be sharp force injury and drowning.

Sara, the mother, was stabbed 28 times and had wounds on her face, neck, and abdomen.

She also had broken bones and defensive injuries. Officials said she died due to a sharp force injury, NBC 6 Florida reported.

Sara Gama and Jean Aponte (NBC 6 Florida/video screengrab)
Sara Gama and Jean Aponte (NBC 6 Florida/video screengrab)

What happened during the initial court appearance of Jean Aponte?

While authorities have been tight-lipped regarding details of the killings, they did say that the mother and boy both died by “traumatic means,” Miami CBS affiliate WFOR reported.

During Jean Aponte’s initial court appearance on Sunday, a judge ordered Aponte to undergo a mental health evaluation. 

It was also disclosed that prior to the tragic events, Aponte, a former US military member, had sought assistance from the Catch a Lift Fund, a charitable organization dedicated to supporting ex-service personnel with mental health needs. 

Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient Chris Haley reported that he had recently admitted Aponte into the Catch A Lift Fund, program.

"He expressed a strong desire to set things right as he had a wife and an expected child." 

Haley stated. "He was committed to being a positive role model for his family." 

Haley added that Aponte was grappling with personal challenges but was determined to improve his situation. 

Neighbors expressed disbelief, with local resident John Goodish stating, "This is utterly shocking. It's completely unexpected. They seemed like a nice couple."

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