Updated 07/06/2012 11:38 PM
School Teacher Suspected Of Gassing Her Two Children To Death
Investigators suspect a city school teacher attempted suicide and killed her two young children Thursday through gassing in their apartment in the Parkchester section of the Bronx, and sources told NY1 the woman had an ongoing dispute with the father of her children. NY1's Vivian Lee filed the following report.
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Investigators gathered evidence at 1500 Noble Avenue in Parkchester Friday morning after two young children died there Thursday.
Sources said they were found late Thursday night, unconscious in the kitchen of their apartment. Their mother, 29-year-old elementary school teacher Lisette Bamenga, was also found in the kitchen with her wrists cut.
Neighbors said the smell of gas was overpowering and sources said suicide notes were lying around. The stove was apparently left on and a sheet was placed over the door.
"Gives me the chills," said one person at the scene. "Just to think, I have two young kids myself and can't even imagine something should happen to them."
The children, five-year-old Trevor Noel Jr. and four-month-old Liliana Noel, were pronounced dead on the scene.
Residents reported the gas smell shortly before midnight Thursday, prompting firefighters to break down the locked apartment door.
The children were rushed outside for CPR but EMTs could not revive them.
"I saw the baby," said one witness. "It was right there by the mailbox, about three or four months old. Her leg was shaking."
Bamenga, who worked as a Department of Education school teacher since 2005 and had most worked at P.S. 58 in Brooklyn for the past year, was taken to Jacobi Hospital in stable condition.
Sources told NY1 that Bamenga had an ongoing dispute with the father of her children, Trevor Noel Sr., who is a city policeman, and that before she turned on the gas she had her children drink toxic de-icing fluid.
Neighbors say they noticed her and the children moving in a few months ago and keeping to themselves.
An overnight security guard at the apartment complex said the smell of gas was noticeable mostly on the ninth floor. He said he called it in even before residents began alerting him.
"Something could have blown up, you know," said one resident. "I'm right upstairs. Anything could have happened. In that sense it's a little scary. But it's a tragedy."
Neighbors said they never heard the sound of fighting coming from the apartment. The father was seldom seen.