SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Three young children were found dead on the same day in San Francisco and Napa County, investigators said. They were all victims of homicides.
The first child, a 2-year-old boy, was slain in Oakland, according to police. The toddler’s body was later dumped in a rural area of Napa County.
Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong identified the toddler as 2-year-old Ja’mari Madkins.
“This is a tragic case. This should not have happened. We are in contact with the child’s family and grandmother,” Armstrong told reporters at a news conference held Thursday afternoon.
Ja’mari’s body was discovered on December 23 and San Pablo Police Department officers alerted OPD. Oakland homicide detectives took over the investigation, classified the incident as a homicide, and made one arrest.
“An individual connected to the child’s death was identified and arrested,” OPD officer Darryl Rodgers said. Police did not release the suspect’s name.
When asked by a reporter about the relationship between the arrested suspect and the toddler, the police chief said the arrested man has a “close connection to the child.”
Ja’mari lived with his grandmother, Maria, and mother, Alondra, according to family friends.
The grandmother’s friends wrote, “Ja’mari is Maria’s everything. She is devastated and heartbroken. Alondra is a young mom mourning for her baby. Ja’mari’s smile and infectious laugh will be missed by many who he brought such joy to in such a short time.”
A GoFundMe page created by the grandmother’s friend states, “Ja’mari’s life was tragically cut short. He was unexpectedly taken from his family.”
An Alameda County Sheriff’s coroner will perform an autopsy to determine Ja’mari’s cause of death and exactly when he was killed. Armstrong said the murder scene was near International Boulevard in Oakland.
The police chief said he will release more information in coming days to shed “more clarity about what happened. You will understand how tragic it was.”
Two more young victims — a 1-year-old baby named Paragon and a 5-year-old girl named Justice — were found dead inside their San Francisco home on Navy Road in the Bayview neighborhood on December 23, according to court documents.
The Oakland and San Francisco homicides are not connected.
The girls’ father called 911 just after 7:30 a.m. on December 23. He told San Francisco police officers that he had just arrived home when he found his daughters unconscious, according to prosecutors.
Police officers who responded to crime scene said they were met by “both parents who directed them to the juveniles inside the home.” It’s unclear how long the father had been away from the home before he found his daughters.
Detectives quickly became suspicious of a woman who lived in the home, 34-year-old Paulesha Alma Green-Pulliam, and arrested her on murder charges for the deaths of baby Paragon and Justice.
The murders were committed with “malice and aforethought” sometime between December 21 and December 23, according to the criminal complaint filed by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. Investigators declined to confirm to KRON4 if Green-Pulliam was the girls’ biological mother.
Green-Pulliam is slated to be arraigned in court on Friday and she remains behind bars with no bail.