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Meriel BEMIS





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Parricide - Because she was upset that her boyfriend had broken up with her
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: February 23, 2014
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: 1993
Victim profile: Lela Bemis, 3 (her daughter)
Method of murder: Suffocation with a pillow
Location: Stone Mountain, DeKalb County, Georgia, USA
Status: Pleaded guilty. Sentenced to life in prison on September 11, 2014

photo gallery


DeKalb mother sentenced to life for suffocating 3-year-old daughter

By Rhonda Cook -The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

September 11, 2014

A 21-year-old DeKalb County mother was sentenced to life in prison Thursday following her guilty plea to murdering her 3-year-old daughter after an argument with her boyfriend.

According to testimony, Meriel Bemis and Troy Walker fought on Feb. 23. Walker ultimately left the Stone Mountain apartment where Bemis and her daughter lived.

At some point, Bemis notified Walker that she had killed her child, prosecutors said. Walker came back to the Landmark at Mountain View apartments to find Lela Bemis dead. Still, he called 911 and attempted to administer CPR.

Lela was pronounced dead at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston. She had been suffocated, according to an autopsy report.

“As a mother, I could not begin to understand how and why (Bemis) would take the life of her innocent child in such a vicious way,” said Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Dalia Racine said during the hearing before DeKalb Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams. “This sentence will never bring Lela back, however, there is justice in the fact that Meriel has assumed some level of responsibility and will serve a life sentence for her malicious acts.”


Prosecutors: Text messages sparked child's murder

June 24, 2014

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Prosecutors say text messages from another woman may have led a mother to suffocate her 3-year-old daughter.

Channel 2's Tom Jones spent the day in the DeKalb County Courthouse as prosecutors asked a judge to deny bond for Meriel Bemis.

Prosecutors say Bemis' boyfriend told her he was leaving her after an argument over text messages he received from another woman.

Bemis repeatedly called her boyfriend but he refused to pick up the phone. When he did, prosecutors say Bemis had already killed her daughter.

"When he does (pick up the phone), he hears this defendant screaming on the other line, "I killed her,'" Assistant District Attorney Dailia Racine said.

Racine explained that Bemis told police she took the 3-year-old out of bed, "takes her to the bathroom floor and smothers her with a pillow."

Racine also said that Bemis made an attempt to kill herself.

The testimony was so graphic, Judge Gregory Adams asked some of the parents to remove children from the courtroom.

Bemis' defense attorney said his client is adopted and feels unwanted and is always looking for love. She entered a not guilty plea.

Adams refused to grant bond and set the trial for Sept. 22.


Mother admits to suffocating 3-year-old daughter

By Tom Jones -

February 25, 2014

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. - Police said a mother has admitted to suffocating her 3-year-old child because she was upset her boyfriend broke up with her.

Meriel Bemis, 21, faces felony murder charges in connection with the death of Lela Bemis. Police said Bemis murdered her daughter between Sunday night and Monday morning at the Landmark at Mountainview Apartments in Stone Mountain.

People who learned the details surrounding the murder were shaken by the allegations.

"That's sad that that's what she would do as a result of her boyfriend breaking up with her," Robert Atkins said.

Officers said Bemis and her boyfriend argued and he left the apartment. Detectives say the boyfriend later received a phone call from Bemis saying Lela was unconscious.

He arrived to find the child unresponsive in the bathroom. Lela was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Officers say Bemis admitted she used a pillow to suffocate Lela because her boyfriend broke up with her.

"That's sad. That's terrible. I don't… that's not a reason to kill your child," one woman told Channel 2’s Tom Jones.

"That just sounds to me like somebody who has completely lost it. They're just like... my life... what does it mean,?" Monica Kasson said.

She waived her first court appearance. People shocked by the case say it appears Bemis just lost it.

"There's definitely some type of mental case or something going on," a Stone Mountain shopper said.

"That just seems like something wouldn't just pop up out of somebody out of nowhere to kill your own child because of your love for someone else," Atkins commented.

On Bemis's Facebook page, there are several pictures of her and her boyfriend in loving embrace or making funny faces.

People commented on how in love they were. There are also pictures of Bemis with Lela.

Bemis has a March 20 court appearance scheduled. She will remain locked up at least until then.


Georgia mother, 21, accused of murdering her three-year-old daughter

  • Meriel Bemis was charged with murder after her three-year-old daughter Lela Bemis was found dead in her apartment

  • No cause of death has been publicly released, the young mother appears to be the only suspect

By Ryan Gorman -

February 24, 2014

A suburban Atlanta mother stands accused of murdering her three-year-old daughter.

Meriel Bemis, 21, who lives in DeKalb County, was arrested early Monday morning after her boyfriend called 911 Sunday night when he found the girl dead in Bemis’ apartment.

Details surrounding the girl’s death are scarce. Authorities have only identified her as Lela Bemis, WSB reported.

No information about the cause of her death has yet been released, and a message left with DeKalb County Police was not immediately returned.

Meriel Bemis was home alone with the child, according to the station, and frantically called her boyfriend saying the child was lifeless.

He called 911 when he arrived just before midnight Sunday. Police told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he does not face any charges over her death.

The young mother's Facebook and Google Plus profiles say she was studying dance at Mt San Jacinto College, in California, but the last dance-related posting appears during what would have been the fall 2013 semester.

Several pictures depict a loving mother-daughter relationship, and show her with an unidentified man presumably her boyfriend.

Her Pinterest profile says ‘I'm an artsy, snarky, classy, dancing mommy :),’ and shows off her cooking, arts and crafts and dance interest.

Outwardly she was the picture of a perfect mother, but it something went terribly wrong over the weekend.

Meriel Bemis’ last pictures posted to Facebook only three days ago don’t show anything out of the ordinary, only the same smiles and goofy faces as all the other snaps.

They are a far cry from the desheveled woman shown in the mug shot taken early Monday morning.

It is not clear if the boyfriend, who has not been identified, is the baby’s father. Also not known is what prompted the mother to leave school and move to Atlanta.

Police arrested Meriel Bemis, charged her with murder and booked her into the county jail just before 6:30 am Monday, according to court records.

No bail has been set.



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