WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ WBRZ Top Story Top Story en-us Copyright 2014, WBRZ. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:07:36 GMT Synapse CMS 10 WBRZ http://www.wbrz.com/ 144 25 Grand jury indicts man accused of Tigerland rapes http://www.wbrz.com/news/grand-jury-indicts-man-accused-of-tigerland-rapes/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/grand-jury-indicts-man-accused-of-tigerland-rapes/ Top Story Thu, 31 Jul 2014 10:13:38 AM Brock Sues Grand jury indicts man accused of Tigerland rapes

BATON ROUGE - A 22-year-old man accused of raping two women in the Tigerland area of Baton Rouge was indicted by a grand jury on Wednesday.

The State Police Crime Lab linked Isai Efrain Garcia-Vazquez to the crimes with DNA evidence, according to BRPD.

Garcia-Vazquez was indicted on two counts of forcible rape and one count of second-degree kidnapping, according to the East Baton Rouge District Attorney Office.

When he was arrested in June, investigators said the man met his victims at a local bar in Tigerland before taking them to a remote location on River Road and raping them. The crimes took place in June of 2014 and July of 2013.

His bail remains set at $100,000.

 


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Avoyelles escapees captured in Port Allen http://www.wbrz.com/news/avoyelles-escapees-captured-in-port-allen/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/avoyelles-escapees-captured-in-port-allen/ Top Story Tue, 29 Jul 2014 3:58:19 AM Hunter Robinson Avoyelles escapees captured in Port Allen

PORT ALLEN - Two women out of Avoyelles Parish are now behind bars in West Baton Rouge.

28-year-old Lindsey Howell and 39-year-old Christie Theriot were on the run after escaping from Avoyelles Simmesport Women's Corrections Center. The women were taken into custody at a motel in Port Allen.

U.S. Marshals tracked the pair after they escaped through a back door late Friday night. Deputies believe they got away in a vehicle that was waiting for them. Two correctional officers have been placed on leave during the investigation, and the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff's Office says more arrests are possible.

Howell sas serving time on forgery and terrorizing charges. Theriot, meanwhile, was behind bars for burglary, criminal damage to property and speeding.. In 2010, she was wanted for an armed robbery in Livingston Parish.

Tune into WBRZ News 2 at Noon for the latest information.


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Police search for obscene man http://www.wbrz.com/news/police-search-for-obscene-man/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/police-search-for-obscene-man/ Top Story Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:00:07 AM WBRZ Staff Police search for obscene man

BATON ROUGE - Police asked for help identifying a person seen on surveillance cameras following a woman in Baton Rouge while making obscene comments and actions.

Police said just after midnight on the morning of July 13 the man began following the woman in the 4000 block of Nicholson Drive. The woman told police he made sexually explicit comments to her while touching himself.

When the woman went into a nearby apartment building, police said the man ran to a parked car and fled the area.

Detectives said the man is a white male between the ages of 18 and 25 with a slim build, short dark hair, and was seen wearing a gray T-shirt and dark colored shorts.

"That scares me because I walk around here. I felt kind of safe. It's a nice area but it's scary that something like that would happen here so close to where I live," Callie Miller said, who lives in the area where police said the man was prowling.

"If he wasn't drunk, then that's really creepy and the cops should be involved right away because Callie here, she lives right here and that's just so scary," Michael Duvreuil said.

Anyone who knows the man's identity or has other information about this case should call the BRPD Sex Crimes Division at (225) 389-3853.

 


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Hearing set in Bourbon Street fatal shooting http://www.wbrz.com/news/hearing-set-in-bourbon-street-fatal-shooting/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/hearing-set-in-bourbon-street-fatal-shooting/ Top Story Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:29:04 AM WBRZ Staff Hearing set in Bourbon Street fatal shooting

NEW ORLEANS - A magistrate judge has refused to move up a preliminary hearing for the only suspect in a deadly shooting on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

Magistrate Harry Cantrell's decision came despite arguments Friday by an attorney for 20-year-old Trung Le that Le didn't fire the first shot or the shot that killed a 21-year-old woman. Nine other people were injured in the June 29 shooting.

Cantrell says Le's hearing date remains Aug. 26.

Prosecutors must demonstrate at the preliminary hearing that they have probable cause to keep Le in jail.

Le was captured in Mississippi on July 4 and extradited to Louisiana.

He was booked with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.


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Chemical company announces Ascension Parish plans http://www.wbrz.com/news/chemical-company-announces-ascension-parish-plans/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/chemical-company-announces-ascension-parish-plans/ Top Story Fri, 25 Jul 2014 9:32:59 AM Russell Jones Chemical company announces Ascension Parish plans

BATON ROUGE - State officials and leaders with the Stepan Company announced plans to start work on a proposed $60 to $70 million chemical plant for Ascension Parish's industrial corridor.

The company's CEO said they will complete front-end engineering and design work for the facility. They said they'll make a final decision on the project in the second quarter of 2015.

The company is in property negotiations for a manufacturing site in Ascension Parish. LED offered the Stepan Company a package of incentives to consider the site and have been negotiating with the company since 2012.

Pending a final investment decision by the company's board of directors, Stepan would begin building the project in the fourth quarter of 2015, with hiring to begin in 2017 as construction nears completion. LED said the project would create 33 new direct jobs with an average annual salary of $70,000 per year, plus 98 new indirect jobs and 65 construction jobs.

 


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Arrested vice principal's suspension changed http://www.wbrz.com/news/arrested-vice-principal-s-suspension-changed/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/arrested-vice-principal-s-suspension-changed/ Top Story Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:35:46 AM Russell Jones Arrested vice principal's suspension changed

BATON ROUGE - School officials confirmed Thursday that they have shifted the suspension of an East Baton Rouge Schools vice principal accused of sexting a student.

A school spokesperson said Edwin Chastang was initially suspended with pay upon his arrest Tuesday. That suspension was changed to unpaid on Wednesday.

Police arrested Chastang on charges of computer aided solicitation of a minor Tuesday. Investigators said Chastang, one of the top educators at Southeast Middle School, admitted that he exchanged nude photographs with a 15-year-old student over social media.

According to arrest documents, the conversations began in May. Authorities said they began investigating after the girl's mother found out about them and informed police.

Chastang reportedly told authorities he sent the lewd pictures after becoming intoxicated.


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Fire torches Highland restaurant http://www.wbrz.com/news/fire-torches-highland-restaurant/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/fire-torches-highland-restaurant/ Top Story Fri, 18 Jul 2014 8:48:27 PM Trey Schmaltz Fire torches Highland restaurant

BATON ROUGE- Firefighters spent Friday night battling a fire at a strip mall.

The fire appears to have started near the Arzi's Greek and Lebanese store in the Kenilworth Shopping Center shortly after 10 p.m.  

Fire investigators said the fire was caused by a fan motor located in the rear of the kitchen. Flames were seen coming through the roof in the back of the building when firefighters arrived.  

They were able to extinguish the fire leaving "very little fire damage, but the rest of the building did receive a lot of smoke damage," according to a release.

Other businesses in the strip mall received smoke but firefighters were able to blow the smoke out of most of those businesses.

Initial reports estimate $20,000 worth of damage was caused by the fire.

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Heated pre-trial testimony in boy's death http://www.wbrz.com/news/heated-pre-trial-testimony-in-boy-s-death/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/heated-pre-trial-testimony-in-boy-s-death/ Top Story Thu, 17 Jul 2014 3:18:56 PM Russell Jones, Troy Gaulden Heated pre-trial testimony in boy's death

BATON ROUGE - A pre-trial hearing in the murder of an 8-year-old Baton Rouge boy grew heated at times between witnesses and attorneys Friday.

A daycare owner testified she once saw Michael Robertson punch his son Xzayvion Riley multiple times in the chest after he came to pick the boy up. Xzayvion died two years ago after coroners said he was severely beaten, and authorities charged Robertson and his mother with first-degree murder.

The hearing is being held to determine what evidence of prior abuse will be allowed during Robertson's murder trial. Prosecutor Will Morris said it was their intent to prove Riley's death did not stem from one beating, but a "long, escalating pattern of abuse."

Robertson's attorney, Elizabeth Coe, challenged the daycare owner's testimony, asking if she recorded the instance in her records. The witness got upset during her testimony, leading the judge to call a recess.

A social worker also testified that during a home visit she found no evidence of abuse, but said something didn't feel right at the home.

Prosecutors will resume presenting evidence and testimony on Aug. 1, with the defense to follow in November.

Xzayvion's mother will be tried separately from Robertson.


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Mayor Holden welcomes World Changers volunteers http://www.wbrz.com/news/mayor-holden-welcomes-world-changers-volunteers/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/mayor-holden-welcomes-world-changers-volunteers/ Top Story Tue, 15 Jul 2014 11:14:58 AM Brock Sues Mayor Holden welcomes World Changers volunteers

BATON ROUGE - Mayor "Kip" Holden welcomed nearly 200 student volunteers with the World Changers program to the Baton Rouge area on Tuesday with a press conference and a visit to the site where the volunteers will make their contribution.

The faith-based World Changers program gives teens a chance carry out a week of kind works for elderly and disadvantaged residents in the capital city.

The volunteers will set up camp at Florida Boulevard Baptist Church as they contribute to the community. One of the first homes to benefit was on Mason Avenue, where volunteers will do much-needed repair work over the next week.

The effort, sponsored by the Mayor's Office, the Mayor's Project Office and the Mayor's Office of Community Development, will encompass minor repairs for 35 homes in the area with all work performed by World Changers volunteers.

 


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Trooper: Crash scene looked like plane had exploded http://www.wbrz.com/news/trooper-crash-scene-looked-like-plane-had-exploded/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/trooper-crash-scene-looked-like-plane-had-exploded/ Top Story Wed, 9 Jul 2014 8:50:13 AM Russell Jones Trooper: Crash scene looked like plane had exploded

BATON ROUGE - A state trooper told jurors in David Leger's vehicular homicide trial Wednesday that the deadly wreck from 2011 he's accused of causing looked like a plane had exploded on the interstate.

The trooper told jurors the wreck on was "overwhelming," and there was "complete chaos" when they first arrived at the scene.

David Leger is accused of driving drunk and causing the deaths of five people, three of which were children. Prosecutors said he got into a cat-and-mouse chase with another driver on I-10 due to road rage, then crashed into the vehicle carrying all five victims.

Attorneys gave opening statements earlier Wednesday morning. Leger's attorney, Thomas Damico, said he's prepared to show jurors the crash would have happened whether his client was drunk or not. Jurors also head from the parents of the two adults killed in the wreck.

The other driver in the chase, Kelsye Hall, was convicted of five counts of negligent homicide last year and sentenced to two years in jail. She was released Sunday after spending only nine months behind bars due to good behavior.

News 2's Rob Krieger is at the trial and will have updates starting at noon.


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Balloons released for kids hit, killed by out-of-control SUV http://www.wbrz.com/news/balloons-released-for-kids-hit-killed-by-out-of-control-suv/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/balloons-released-for-kids-hit-killed-by-out-of-control-suv/ Top Story Thu, 3 Jul 2014 8:27:23 PM Brittany Weiss Balloons released for kids hit, killed by out-of-control SUV

GEISMAR - Family and friends gathered for a vigil to remember two children killed while fishing with their father and two family friends.

"I can just remember them playing in the yard, just having fun and laughing," said neighbor Keisha Lang. "They'll truly be missed."

Saria Lanus, 9, and her brother Daylon Lanus, Jr., 6, were killed when an SUV lost control and ran off Bluff Road, hitting the group fishing on the side of the road. The Lanus children were pronounced dead at the scene. Their father, David Lanus and two other fishing partners were taken to a hospital in Baton Rouge.

Hundreds of pink, purple, blue and orange balloons, Saria and Daylon's favorite colors, were released into the sky in honor of the two children Thursday evening.

Daylon, who friends and family called "Duce," loved sports and was always outside playing. Saria, a cheerleader and gymnast was a friend to everyone.

Their aunt, Tiffany Darville says they were great kids.

"They were great at everything they did," she said. "As great as they were, they stayed humble."

State Police say the investigation is ongoing and no charges have been filed.


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Livingston Parish road set for $2.7 million repair http://www.wbrz.com/news/livingston-parish-road-set-for-2-7-million-repair/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/livingston-parish-road-set-for-2-7-million-repair/ Top Story Thu, 26 Jun 2014 1:29:16 PM Troy Gaulden Livingston Parish road set for $2.7 million repair

KILLIAN - Louisiana Highway 444 in Livingston Parish is set for a multi-million dollar overhaul.

The Department of Transportation and Development says workers will repave 5.9 miles of La. 444 between Gum Swamp Road and La. 22 to improve ride quality. It's part of the state's $425 million quality surface program to fix roads.

People who drive the road daily described the bumpy road as a washboard.

"It's full of cracks, holes, divots... Looks like someone just dumped black plaster everywhere on something broke," said Cerissa Morse.

Residents say the road's condition is also tearing up their cars while they try to dodge bumps, potholes and cracks in the roadway.

"It's worn out. It's a rough road. It's a lot of potholes, a lot of broken up asphalt," said Kerry McNabb. "If you're pulling a boat trailer or something like that it's beating up your boat. It's just a rough road to be traveling on. It needs repairs real bad. They got one bad bridge on the road. There's a big bump. If you don't know about it and you hit it kind of hard, you're going to bounce pretty good."

Work for the nearly $3 million project could start as early as July. The Department of Transportation and Development says the work should take around 85 working days to complete. That means it should take construction crews about six months to complete the job.

 


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Police: Deadly shooting near Southern University, gunman unknown http://www.wbrz.com/news/police-deadly-shooting-near-southern-university-gunman-unknown/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/police-deadly-shooting-near-southern-university-gunman-unknown/ Top Story Sun, 22 Jun 2014 8:20:07 AM Greg Renoud Police: Deadly shooting near Southern University, gunman unknown

BATON ROUGE - Baton Rouge police say a man was killed Saturday night after being shot in the face.

Jonathan Carter, 34, was taken to the hospital where he later died.

Investigators say it happened at around 9pm near Merganzer Avenue and Ave A, which is about 2 blocks north of Southern University.

Officials still don't know who the gunman is or what the motive is.

The shooting is still under investigation.

 


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Sheriff: expect lengthy ordeal around well leak site http://www.wbrz.com/news/sheriff-expect-lengthy-ordeal-around-well-leak-site/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/sheriff-expect-lengthy-ordeal-around-well-leak-site/ Top Story Fri, 20 Jun 2014 5:56:12 PM Trey Schmaltz Sheriff: expect lengthy ordeal around well leak site

PLAQUEMINE- The company responsible for a well that is leaking off Highway 75 will evaluate the situation and formulate a plan to deal with the danger, the sheriff said Friday night.

Highway 75 has been closed south of the city because of the situation.

"[The highway] is shutdown between Stassi Road and Jack Miller Landing," Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi told WBRZ News 2.

Stassi said deputies believe natural gas is leaking from the well. Stassi said the telltale sign of trouble, loud hissing, can be heard in the area. He said the well is in a clearing, surrounded by woods off the highway.

"The only family we would have to evacuate lives in a mobile home on property next to the well, but they don't appear to be home," Stassi said.

The sheriff said emergency responders trained in dealing with hazardous materials were on the scene.  Deputies are expected to man road blocks throughout the ordeal, which will likely last overnight and into Saturday morning.

No fire has been reported, but Stassi added it appears there could be oil leaking, too.

Watch for updates on WBRZ News 2 at 10:00 and refresh WBRZ.com for immediate updates.
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IMAGE: Google maps; Red = leak site; Yellow = Hwy closure

 


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Teen 'serious but stable' after high-speed chase http://www.wbrz.com/news/teen-in-serious-but-stable-after-high-speed-chase/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/teen-in-serious-but-stable-after-high-speed-chase/ Top Story Thu, 19 Jun 2014 1:15:56 PM Brock Sues Teen 'serious but stable' after high-speed chase

LAFAYETTE - A dramatic high-speed chase late Wednesday started near Baton Rouge and ended nearly 40 miles later with the arrest of a registered sex offender travelling with a 16-year-old girl who is now hospitalized for stab wounds, according to authorities.

Witnesses reported seeing Steven Myers, 41, and Ashley Lyon, 16, at a truck stop in Grosse Tete, and a pursuit began as law enforcement tried to stop the truck driven by Myers.

The truck was pursued by multiple law enforcement agencies by the time the chase neared Lafayette, where local police deployed spike strips in an attempt to disable the truck. Video shot by a witness shows the chase nearing its climax after Lafayette PD's spike strips successfully deflated five of the truck's six tires, and the vehicle coasted on its rims with sparks flying.

Police said the chase finally came to a stop on the I-10 overpass at North University Avenue in Lafayette after one of the truck's tires caught fire. Myers got out of the truck and charged at officers with a knife, but was taken down by K-9 units and an officer with a stun gun, according to Lafayette PD.

The teen was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for multiple stab wounds, and law enforcement reported her condition was upgraded to "serious but stable" as of late Thursday morning.

Myers was also taken to an area hospital to be treated for dog bites and multiple stab wounds and is in serious but stable condition.

Lafayette Police Department Detectives and other law enforcement agencies are involved in the investigation and Myers will face multiple charges, including attempted murder, upon his release from the hospital.

 


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Child killed, two others thrown from car in Assumption Parish http://www.wbrz.com/news/child-killed-two-others-thrown-from-car-in-assumption-parish/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/child-killed-two-others-thrown-from-car-in-assumption-parish/ Top Story Mon, 16 Jun 2014 7:08:16 AM Hunter Robinson Child killed, two others thrown from car in Assumption Parish

NAPOLEONVILLE - State police say an eight-year-old was killed when he was ejected from the car he was riding in. Two other children were also injured.

The accident happened just before 9:00 p.m. on LA-1 near Howard Ln. in Assumption Parish. Investigators say the car they were riding in ran off the side of the road, hit a culvert and utility pole and overturned.

The 26-year-old driver, Brian Gilton, and his three children were all ejected from the car. The eight-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene. Gilton and the two other kids suffered minor to moderate injuries.

According to State Police, no one in the car was buckled-up at the time of the crash.

The wreck is still under investigation, but State Police believe impairment was a factor. They are waiting for the results of a toxicology report at this time.

 


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Parts of I-10 Basin Bridge closed until early Saturday http://www.wbrz.com/news/parts-of-i-10-basin-bridge-closed-until-early-saturday/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/parts-of-i-10-basin-bridge-closed-until-early-saturday/ Top Story Fri, 13 Jun 2014 6:57:55 PM Trey Schmaltz Parts of I-10 Basin Bridge closed until early Saturday

WHISKEY BAY- One person was killed in a crash on the I-10 Basin Bridge after the vehicle they were in flipped on the bridge deck and rolled off the side into the swamp Friday night.

There were five children and two adults in the car at the time of the crash.  It is unclear as of this post who the deceased person is.

The crash closed both westbound lanes of the interstate but one re-opened nearly an hour after the crash. An alert from State Police advised people to avoid I-10 near Ramah in Iberville Parish until 3 a.m. Saturday at the earliest.  Troopers said they will be closing the highway system intermittently overnight Friday.

Witnesses told WBRZ News 2, shortly after the crash the bridge was filled with emergency crews working to pull people from the swamp below.  Six people were rescued from the crash and one person was transported to a hospital by a medical helicopter.  Others were taken by an ambulance.  The seventh person died in the vehicle.

The crash happened at milepost 132.6, just west of where I-10 elevates over the Atchafalaya Basin.

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Local women among 15 sentenced for DCFS fraud http://www.wbrz.com/news/local-women-among-15-sentenced-for-dcfs-fraud/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/local-women-among-15-sentenced-for-dcfs-fraud/ Top Story Mon, 9 Jun 2014 10:17:42 AM Brock Sues Local women among 15 sentenced for DCFS fraud

BATON ROUGE - Individuals from Denham Springs and New Roads were among the 15 convicted of receiving more than $116,000 in ineligible benefits after an investigation by the Department of Children and Family Services.

All of the convicted individuals were charged with falsely reporting household composition or income to illegally obtain between $2,000 to more than $20,000 in SNAP benefits. Some also illegally obtained child care assistance benefits, according to DCFS.

Kassia Culpepper of Denham Springs was sentenced to five years probation after she pleaded guilty to illegally obtaining $5,025 in SNAP benefits by failing to report her earned income.

Tara Foster of New Roads pleaded guilty to illegally obtaining $6,000 in SNAP and CCAP benefits after failing to report her husband as a household member and was sentenced to two years supervised probation.

All of the individuals convicted were ordered to pay fines, court costs and full restitution to DCFS.

 


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Amite River and Diversion Canal still closed http://www.wbrz.com/news/amite-river-and-diversion-canal-still-closed/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/amite-river-and-diversion-canal-still-closed/ Top Story Sat, 31 May 2014 12:12:08 PM Greg Renoud Amite River and Diversion Canal still closed

GONZALES - The Ascension Parish Sheriff's office says the Amite River and Diversion Canal are closed to recreational traffic.

The rivers were closed Thursday afternoon due to high water levels and floating debris after the high amounts of rain in the area over the past week.

Officials say the waterways are not expected to open up until at least Sunday.

 


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Two accused of forcing children to beg for money http://www.wbrz.com/news/two-accused-of-forcing-children-to-beg-for-money/ http://www.wbrz.com/news/two-accused-of-forcing-children-to-beg-for-money/ Top Story Fri, 30 May 2014 10:59:40 AM Brock Sues Two accused of forcing children to beg for money

GONZALES - Police said they arrested two people for dropping a pair of children off in a Gonzales parking lot and forcing them to beg for money.

Officers said they received a call stating that there was a young child in the park lot of a store in Gonzales begging for money. The 12-year-old child was unsupervised and had obviously been left alone to find for itself, according to police.

Investigators said the child told police their 10-year-old cousin was also dropped off, but officers were not able to find them.

Police said they learned that two subjects had dropped the juveniles off in the parking lots, and one of them was an older relative of the children. Several hours later officers said they stopped Jakeri Ellsworth, 21, and Keoril Green, 17, as they were circling the parking lot looking for the children they had dropped off earlier. Police said the 10-year-old they had been looking for was in the vehicle with the two subjects.

Ellsworth and Green admitted to dropping off the children to beg for money while they went shopping for mobile homes in the area, according to police.

Officers said the two face charges of cruelty to juveniles and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, and were booked into Ascension Parish Prison.

The children were unharmed and have been released to their respective biological parents, according to police.

 


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