Sunday, February 15, 2015

Dad in police custody for murder of 13-month-old daughter, baby's mother (Eastpointe, Michigan)

Dad is identified as CURTIS LEE HAMPTON.

UPDATE: Man in custody in connection with Eastpointe homicides is father of deceased child

Monique Rakowski and her daughter, Carmon, were found dead Thursday in their Eastpointe home. \

By Frank DeFrank, The Macomb Daily and Norb Franz, The Macomb Daily
Posted: 02/13/15, 12:15 PM EST | Updated: 1 day ago

Police found a 29-year-old woman and her 13-month-old baby murdered in this Normandy Avenue home late Thursday.


With arms folded across his chest to ward off the cold, Mike Rakowski did his best to describe to a visitor how his family coped just hours after their lives were devastated.

“It’s horrible,” Rakowski said. “We’re all shocked. It’s undoubtedly the worst fear every parent has for his child.”

On Thursday night, around 9 p.m., concerned he and family members were unable to reach their 29-year-old daughter, Rakowski went to Monique Carly Rakowski’s Eastpointe home. When he entered, his worst fears were confirmed. Monique and her 13-month-old daughter, Carmon -- Rakowski’s granddaughter -- lay motionless. Rakowski tried to revive the mother and daughter, but they were beyond help long before he arrived.

“I knew,” he said.

He summoned Eastpointe police, and soon the home on Normandy Avenue and the surrounding area near Nine Mile and Kelly roads was turned into a homicide crime scene. Monique’s live-in boyfriend and father of the deceased child, Curtis Lee Hampton, was not home. Monique’s 2007 Chevrolet Impala also was missing. Police put out word they were seeking a “person of interest” in the case.

By Friday morning, as news media swarmed outside the house, neighbors were coming to grips with the knowledge that hours earlier a young woman and her baby daughter had been slain.

“It kills me,” neighbor Patrick Valente said of the crimes. “I’ve got kids of my own. All I can do is pray.”

Another neighbor, Ricky Gutc, a 33-year resident on Normandy who lived two doors away from Monique, said his wife phoned him around 10 p.m. Thursday and broke the tragic news. When he arrived home, Gutc had to walk the final half-block because crime-scene tape blocked the street.

For Gutc, the revelation hit too close to home, literally and figuratively. #“We have a 4-year-old (child),” he told reporters.

By mid-morning, news trickled out that the person sought by police had turned himself in at the Dearborn police station. He was soon in the custody of Eastpointe officers and en route back to the Macomb County community.

Pending possible charges, police did not identify the man. Charges are not likely to be filed before Monday. But Detective Lt. Neil Childs of the Eastpointe Police Department confirmed the man they sought is the father of the deceased child, the live-in boyfriend of the slain woman. All three resided in the Eastpointe home.

The cause of the deaths is still to be determined, Childs said, though he did say both suffered “some stab wounds.”

Autopsies of the victims were scheduled for Friday.

“We don’t know if the stab wounds are the cause of death or a contributing factor,” Childs said.

Rakowski’s vehicle, a 2007 dark blue Chevrolet Impala, remained missing Friday afternoon. The license plate number of the vehicle is 1HXJ18. Despite the missing car, Childs said police “are not actively looking for anybody else” in connection with the double homicide.

Hours after the horrific discovery, the dead woman’s father continued his conversation on the porch of his Sterling Heights home. Monique spent several months caring for her maternal grandmother as the elderly woman neared the end of her life, Rakowski said. She later tried to start a cleaning a business.

“She was beautiful, and she was bright,” Rakowski said.

But she also made some “poor choices,” her father said, one of which was her involvement in a “rocky” relationship with Hampton.

Rakowski choked back tears as he tried to find some meaning to the deaths of his daughter and granddaughter.

“Maybe other people can learn that what people do (choices they make) makes a big difference,” he said.

The grieving father turned to head back inside his home, but stopped to address a visitor one final time.

“If you’re a person of faith, pray for us,” he said.