Wearing a black baseball cap and a gray T-shirt that says “Ben Hustlin All My Life,” Robin Denson spoke to her missing son.
“Marlin, son, I love you,” Denson said, standing in front of the West Palm Beach Police Department on Monday afternoon. “You know I love you, but please, turn yourself in. If you’re scared to do so, call me.”
Denson is the mother of Marlin Larice Joseph, the 26-year-old man West Palm Beach police believed killed a mother and daughter last week.
Kaladaa Crowell, 36, and her 11-year-old daughter, Kyra Inglett, were shot on Thursday. Crowell was killed at her 822 Third St. home, while Inglett died on Friday morning after being taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center.
Police are looking for Joseph, 26. He is believed to have fled in Crowell’s 2012 gray Toyota Camry. The four-door vehicle has a Florida Bethune-Cookman University tag, with the license plate number BAOMJ.
Joseph was last seen at 5:37 a.m. Friday withdrawing money from a bank near Military Trail and Community Drive. Police describe him as 5’ 10” and 180 pounds. He also has multiple tattoos on his face, including a cross between the eyes.
Manny Puri, an assistant chief of U.S. Marshal Service, said the city is offering a $5,000 reward for any tip that leads to Joseph’s arrest.
Denson said she was Crowell’s girlfriend and Inglett was her stepdaughter. “Kaladaa was the sweetest person,” Denson said. “She’d give the shirt off her back to help anybody…she was my girlfriend and that was our home.”
Denson was outside the house when shots were fired. Detectives stopped her from going into more detail, saying Denson was only talking to get her son to surrender.
She said she’s had no contact with Joseph since he vanished. Denson has no idea where he is.
“We’re all he’s got,” she said as her two other children, Pop and Annie, stood next to their grieving mom for six minutes.
Denson says Marlin was a good kid. He played high school football. He read his Bible every day. “I just don’t know what went wrong,” she said.
Joseph served less than a year in prison for battery on a child. The charges stemmed from a 2013 case where he was accused of lewd behavior with a 13-year-old girl when he was 22.
Denson said she hasn’t eaten since Wednesday, and has barely slept. “I’m not going to eat until he turns himself in,” she said.
She said she hasn’t spoken to Crowell’s family at all. Denson says she never met her girlfriend’s parents, but Crowell told them they were in a relationship.
“They’re from a Christian family and I respect that ‘cause I was raised in a Christian family,” Denson said. “They just didn’t really like that me and her were together and I respect that.”
She says she’s been working with the police to help find her son.
“I love my son, but I loved Kyra and Kaladaa, too,” she said, tears streaming down her left cheek. “I just want him to turn himself in. I know the family wants justice. I want justice, too.”