Suspect now faces child abuse charges in death of woman in Fort Myers
Siblings helped solve the murder of their pregnant mother, and her accused killer is behind bars facing additional child abuse charges.
Suspect Serge Lefevre Jr. is in Lee County Jail for the death of Cassandra Clermont, 31, at Cypress Courts Apartments in Fort Myers in November 2020.
One of four little girls told police that no one ever came to visit them at the apartment, and they did not go outside because they did not want to be killed. The little girl told police Lefevre hit the kids and their mom.
A child protection team found marks on all of the kids that helped paint a picture of how they were abused.
“This is going to be pretty complex trauma for all of the surviving children,” said Dr. Beth Howlett, a clinical psychologist at the Center for Psychology.
Lefevre faces charges for murdering, battering and falsely imprisoning Clermont. He also faces charges for the deaths of the twins Clermont was pregnant with and child abuse charges for the four surviving children.
The police report gives us a window into what Lefevre did to Cassandra’s four children. Only one of the children was his.
“This is going to affect these children for the rest of their lives, so law enforcement wanted to proceed as carefully as they could,” explained Rich Kolko, WINK News Safety & Security Specialist.
In the report, the children say Lefevre hit all of them with sticks when they were in trouble, they never left the house because they did not want to be killed.
Along with marks on all the children’s bodies, the child protection team found signs of neglect and at least one child with severe developmental delays.
“They’re in an environment that is not safe and secure, which is really imperative for children growing up in a healthy environment,” Howlett said.
Howlett works with people experiencing trauma. She says each child might process their trauma differently, but all of them will need help to overcome this.
“It’s just horrific,”” Howlett said. “I just hope the children can get what they need going forward, and they’re going to need some support.”
We know one of the children says she was in school online.
A neighbor also told investigators they heard loud banging and screaming coming from the apartment.
Investigators also found a note in the toilet. Some of the words that were legible said, “Help me, mom. Please. Can’t talk to nobody. Me hostage.”
According to the report, Clermont’s family went to her apartment Mutiple times to try to free her from Lefevre. They say they would knock on the door, and no one would answer, but they knew Cassandra Clermont was in fear.