Family of toddler killed at party believes someone at celebration was involved

The family of Elijah LaFrance has a theory that someone invited to the boy's birthday party may have been involved in the drive-by shooting.

NORTHEAST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – Elijah LaFrance’s family arrived in front of a rented Airbnb on what would have been his fourth birthday with flowers, balloons and profound heartbreak.

LaFrance was killed and a 21-year-old woman was wounded after the boy’s birthday party on Saturday night in Miami-Dade’s Golden Glades neighborhood.

The family is determined to get justice for Elijah who died in a rain of bullets meant for someone else as the toddler stood in the doorway.

They also revealed a chilling theory: That someone inside the party was involved and knew the shooters were coming – that the shooters knew they had rented the home for the party and that they arrived after party security guards had left.

“Why did they wait until security left?” Elijah’s uncle, Adrien Annestor asked. " Someone have some information they don’t wanna give us.”

The number of bullets from at least two weapons sickened even seasoned Miami-Dade homicide detectives, who have the call out to the community for any information or observations.

“These were cowards to take the life of a 3-year-old child,” said Kevin Thelwell, a Miami-Dade Police Department Homicide detective, who said there were over 60 casings found at the scene.

On Wednesday, as the family staged a tribute outside the rented Airbnb on Elijah’s 4th birthday, Annestor pointed to a surveillance camera at the front of the house. What was on that home camera? The home rental owner has not returned calls.

Local 10 News learned that the homeowner was operating an illegal Airbnb rental and was cited for that, which is possibly why she hasn’t returned calls.

Questions also remain as to who the shooters were targeting on Saturday night.

There is at least a $25,000 reward for information that leads to Elijah LaFrance’s murderer.

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.

About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."