Court documents reveal history of fights between Fontenelle’s mother, accused murderer

Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 4:28 PM CDT
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HARAHAN, La. (WVUE) - The investigation into the horrific death of 6-year-old Bella Fontenelle is far from over.

In new court documents obtained by Fox 8, disputes between the girl’s mother and her accused killer span back to 2021.

The Harahan community is still in shock, reeling from the gruesome details of the young girl’s death.

“She had the biggest smile. She was the first one that would approach you and share and just giggle,” said neighbor Steve Morris.

Authorities say Michael Fontenelle’s live-in girlfriend, Hannah Bunnak Landon, beat his daughter and strangled her to death Tuesday (April 25) night. The disturbing way in which her body was found the next morning, crammed into a 10-gallon bucket left on her mother’s lawn a block away, led Jefferson Parish Coroner Dr. Gerry Cvitanovich to clarify that the girl’s body was intact upon discovery, contrary to public speculation of dismemberment.

Rest in Peace young Bella Fontenelle:

Posted by WVUE FOX 8 on Thursday, April 27, 2023

“I would see the little girl and the older sister out in the driveway playing many times, riding their little bikes,” Morris recalled. “The mother would sit out there with them. The grandparents would sit out there with them. It was just beautiful to watch.”

A neighbor provided police and Fox 8 with surveillance camera video that showed a woman calmly pulling a wagon carrying a white bucket down a sidewalk at a casual pace, with no attempt to hide even as an approaching car passed.

Harahan Police Chief Edward Lepre says early Wednesday morning, which would have been just a couple of hours after the heinous act, Landon arrived at the police station asking for help.

“She seemed a little bit out of it,” said Chief Lepre. “She was asking for a transport so they called for an ambulance to come pick her up and once the ambulance came to pick her up, they transported her to a local hospital to be evaluated.”

Landon was discharged from the hospital Thursday morning and booked with first-degree murder and obstruction of justice.

Hannah Bunnak Landon, accused in the horrific killing of 6-year-old Bella Fontenelle in Harahan.
Hannah Bunnak Landon, accused in the horrific killing of 6-year-old Bella Fontenelle in Harahan.(JPSO)

“We’re going to work until the end to make sure we get a conviction,” said Chief Lepre. “This is a small baby, and any family would be devastated. I can only imagine what the mother and father are going through right now.”

A petition for a temporary restraining order shows there were conflicts between the accused murderer and Fontenelle’s mother, Jennifer Zeledon, dating back to 2021.

On March 17, 2021, the two women got into a physical confrontation during a swim meet for one of the kids, the filing states. Bella’s father had to intervene.

In another incident on June 8, 2021, the two apparently scuffled during a soccer game -- pulling hair, shoving, kicking, and clawing at one another.

“When it happens two doors down from your house and you look outside and you see multiple policemen... you say ‘what in the world is going on here?’” Morris said.

Neighbors say they are leaning on each to cope with the tragedy in a small community.

St. Matthew the Apostle, where Bella was enrolled as a kindergarten student, announced they would close Thursday and Friday in response to the tragedy.

A prayer service is scheduled for Friday at 3 p.m.

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