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Two little boys drown after angry boyfriend drives car into canal

June 28, 1997

MIAMI (AP) _ A man who was angry with the mother of his three children drove her car into an alligator-infested Everglades canal Friday, drowning two of their young sons, police said.

The man, Kirk Billie, 28, was arrested and charged with murder, burglary and other charges. Detective Rudy Espinosa said Billie burst into tears every time he was asked about the children.

Divers pulled the bodies of Keith Billie, 3, and Kurt Billie, 5, from the murky, 40-foot-deep canal on the Miccosukee Indian Reservation.

``They were bright young kids, just normal kids,″ said Marilyn Huggins, a family friend.

Relatives said the couple had a long history of domestic violence.

``He was just obsessed with her,″ said Jacqueline Osceola, a cousin of the mother, identified by friends as Sheila Tiger. ``He would call her every minute. He was threatening her, saying you’ll never see the kids again.″

Early Friday, the mother and a friend were driving around the area at about 5:30 a.m. and the friend let the mother off with a relative to protect her from Billie, police said.

The friend, who was driving the mother’s Chevy Tahoe, drove on with the two boys and their 1-year-old brother. When she spotted a car following her, she drove to a relative’s home, where she took the 1-year-old out of the car.

Espinosa said Billie jumped in the car and drove off with the boys inside. When he got to the canal, he got out and let it roll into the water, the detective said. The canal is about 40 feet deep.

Kirk Billie had left the reservation for a time, but returned in recent years and struggled with personal problems including previous brushes with the law and trouble holding a job, friends said. Billie had two outstanding warrants, for criminal mischief and for resisting arrest with violence.

About 370 Miccosukee (Mick-oh-SOO’-key) tribe members live on the reservation about 40 miles west of Miami.

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