A Louisiana woman was arrested earlier this year after allegedly killing her boyfriend’s 6-year-old daughter and dumping the child’s body in her mother’s yard.
Authorities shared the autopsy results with victim Bella Fontenelle’s parents ahead of public release.
“It’s not an easy thing to have to relay to somebody,” Jefferson Parish Coroner Gerry Cvitanovich told The Times-Pcayune. “Difficult for me. More difficult for them.”
The autopsy revealed that Fontenelle was strangled and experienced multiple traumatic head injuries, according to Cvitanovich.
Michael Fontenelle, the father of Bella, called the police on April 26 to report that his girlfriend, Bunnak “Hannah” Landon, and his daughter were missing. Investigators were able to locate video footage that showed a woman matching Landon’s description pulling a wagon with a bucket in it.
Police searched the area and located the bucket in the front yard of Jennifer Zeledon, Bella’s mother.
“When they opened up the bucket, they found the 6-year-old deceased,” Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto confirmed.
On the night that Bella was murdered, Landon went to the Harahan Police Department asking for an ambulance to take her to a hospital. She was taken to a hospital as requested, with police not yet knowing about her role in Bella’s death.
She was ultimately released from the hospital with unknown issues and arrested later the same day for first-degree murder. She could face the death penalty in Louisiana since the child was under the age of 12 at the time of her death.
According to court records, lawyer Letita Jachintha Parker-Davis was appointed to Landon’s case as a public defender, NBC News reported. Landon has reportedly refused to cooperate in the case and has declined interviews.
Landon previously faced charges for allegedly attacking Bella’s aunt at a swim meet in 2021, according to a police report, NBC News also noted. The next month, Landon sought a restraining order against Bella’s mother and aunt that was denied.
The death of the young girl has left the small community in shock.
“It’s a close-knit community and we need to be here for them,” resident Anne Graffagnini told WLTV. “It was unbelievable, so heart wrenching, just hard to believe we were sitting there for that reason.”