Mother admits to suffocating 3-year-old daughter

by: Tom Jones Updated:

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.

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.



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