Authorities are investigating the the mysterious demise of Black teenager Quawan “Bobby” Charles, whose physique was present in a Louisiana sugar cane discipline, as a murder, they stated.
The announcement got here Saturday after kinfolk of Charles, 15, and native civil rights teams known as for an unbiased investigation and raised questions on whether or not his race performed a task in how regulation enforcement officers dealt with his case to this point.
Charles’ physique was discovered on Nov. 3 in a sugar cane discipline close to the village of Loreauville, about 20 miles from his father’s residence in Baldwin. His mom first reported him lacking on Oct. 30.
A lawyer for the household stated final week that it was unclear why officers hadn’t issued an Amber Alert after he disappeared or how he might have drowned — the doubtless reason behind demise listed within the post-mortem report — when his physique was present in shallow water.
The Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Workplace didn’t say why it’s investigating his demise as a murder.
“Simply as we do in any case involving somebody discovered deceased on this method, we instantly started treating this as a murder investigation on the very second we discovered Quawan “Bobby” Charles,” the sheriff’s workplace stated in an announcement Saturday.
The sheriff’s workplace additionally stated that it had not been alerted to Charles’ disappearance till Nov. 3, when one in every of his mother and father contacted the workplace.
Charles’ mom had initially reported him lacking to her native police division within the city of Baldwin, and the division then notified the native sheriff’s workplace in St. Mary Parish, the assertion stated.
It was not instantly clear why the sheriff’s workplace in St. Mary Parish didn’t alert authorities in close by Iberia Parish, the place Charles’ physique was discovered. A St. Mary spokesperson didn’t reply Sunday night time to a request for remark.
Investigators discovered Charles’ physique hours after studying of his disappearance, the sheriff’s workplace stated within the assertion, including that it was “actively and aggressively” gathering proof and conducting interviews.
Investigators reviewed video proof from an space close to the place Charles’ physique was discovered that confirmed him on digicam earlier than his demise and nobody else with him, the assertion stated.
The sheriff’s workplace stated it was awaiting toxicology outcomes and declined to supply extra particulars about Charles’ demise as a result of the investigation was ongoing.
The household lawyer, Ronald Haley Jr., didn’t reply to a request for remark Sunday.