Frantzy Belval holds portraits of his children in frames at his apartment on Saturday, July 25, 2022. Photo by: Ashley Miznazi

NORTH MIAMI — After a long day of work building boats, Frantzy Belval arrived home around 10 p.m. and had just laid down when he heard knocking at his apartment door. When he opened the door, he saw police cars and a group of officers. They asked for his name and if they could speak inside.

Before they uttered another word, Belval, 45, had a feeling the visit had something to do with his children’s mother, Odette Joassaint, since she had sent police to his home before. He asked if he could put a shirt on. One officer asked him to sit down.

I fell on the floor crying, and the officer asked if I have anybody who could stay here the night,


Frantzy Belval, whose two children were tragically killed in Little Haiti last April, said he tried to take them from the mom, Odette Joassaint, when DCF moved too slow. But he was too late.

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Ashley Miznazi is a Report for America corps member covering the Haitian community in the South Florida/Miami area for The Haitian Times. Her work will heavily feature photography, video and other multimedia storytelling. Previously, Ashley was a multimedia fellow at The Texas Tribune, where she reported on DACA, Afghan resettlement and the foster care system.