DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A convicted felon suspected in the deaths of two children found in a South Florida canal was jailed Friday on unrelated weapons charges as police scoured his home for evidence.
Court records show the weapons charge dates to 2009, when officers found a homemade silencer inside a bag with a knit hat and a Halloween mask that they said belonged to Clem Beauchamp, 34, of Delray Beach.
Beauchamp has not been charged with any crime related to the children's deaths, but police said he was their only suspect. On Friday, investigators sifted through his small home and towed away cars looking for additional evidence.
After being questioned in the children's deaths by Delray Beach police Thursday night, federal agents charged Beauchamp on the unrelated weapons charge, which will keep him behind bars as the investigation continues.
Court documents show the silencer was found in the trunk of a repossessed car that belonged to a woman neighbors said was Beauchamp's girlfriend.
Beauchamp denied any involvement with the silencer, according to court documents. It's not yet known if he has an attorney.
Authorities said they still hadn't received autopsy reports on the children and weren't releasing their identities or their relationship to Beauchamp.
Neighbors of the suspect have described a complicated family tree in which multiple children of different mothers lived with him. Many described him as a doting father, though others said he had a violent streak.
Sgt. Nicole Guerriero, a spokeswoman for the Delray Beach Police, said detectives were not searching for other bodies. But she said the mother of the dead children had not been found.
"We haven't been able to confirm where the mother is at this point," she said. "That's concerning us."
Still, West Palm Beach police said they were searching to see if there was any link between the bodies discovered in the canal and that of a woman found dead in the trash in December.
Chase Scott, a spokesman for the West Palm Beach Police Department, said the woman remains unidentified. There was no definitive link to the canal bodies, but detectives were probing the possibility, Scott said.
The two children's bodies were found in the water Wednesday, about a half-mile and six hours apart. The girl, believed to be between 6 and 10 years old, was stuffed into a duffel bag. The boy, found inside a suitcase, was said to be 10 to 12 years old.
Police have said they believe the children are siblings.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)