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Woman & toddler dead in Long Island apartment

December 26, 2011 3:03:48 PM PST
Suffolk County Police are investigating the deaths of a woman and 2-year-old boy whose bodies were found in a basement apartment in North Bay Shore, Long Island.

It's a small anonymous house just like any other in this neighborhood.

But what happened at number 3 South Cardinal Court is enough to astonish even the hardest boiled cops.

"People at the morgue had tears in their eyes and they deal with death all the time," said Det. Lt. Gerard Pelkofsky, of the Suffolk County Police Department.

If a homicide can be routine, this was anything but.

Police arrived Saturday morning after the landlord found 21-year-old Shakeela Planter stabbed to death in her basement apartment.

When detectives entered, it got so much worse.

They discovered her Planter's 2-year-old son Jaiden in the freezer.

"The baby was viciously beaten, the baby was ultimately put in a plastic bag and then put in a freezer," Pelkofsky said, "Really affects your moral fiber when something like this happens."

Suffolk County detectives worked through the night, through the holiday, and Monday they announced an arrest.

24-year-old Jerry Lewis, Planter's ex-boyfriend, captured at his mother's house near Baltimore, Maryland.

On Sunday, December 18, police believe Lewis, who'd been living in the apartment babysitting Jaiden, had an argument with Planter, stabbed her to death, and also murdered her son.

Detectives believe he drove around in Planter's car for days before ditching it and taking a train out of state.

"It's a very sick person, how can you kill a baby? I think that is just sick," a neighbor said.

Monday, the details reverberated across this neighborhood, where few if any people actually knew Planter or her son.

Eyewitness News spoke to the woman who owns the house where they lived.

"He was an amazing child and that's all I need to say. And I love him. That's all I need to say," the owner said.

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