Frustration and emotions high after child found dead in hole
BATON ROUGE- Authorities found the body of 4-year-old Jassiah Clark Monday evening in a water-filled hole on property adjacent to his home.
Police said the body was found about 7:35 p.m. near where Clark lived with his family on the corner of Robertson and Greenwell Street. The hole was filled with murky water and police were not able to see his body until they used a flashlight after dark.
"The area was filled with water during the day and you cannot see. It's very dark and murky. More than likely they had looked already but at night, with a flashlight is when they could see inside the hole," department spokeswoman Mary Ann Godawa told WBRZ News 2 reporter Ryan Naquin.
The hole appears to be freshly dug and is several feet deep.
"I'm pissed off; Kip Holden will hear from me tomorrow morning," Lesly Reed, the child's aunt, said in frustration about the gaping hole just feet from her nephew's house and the spot where his lifeless body was found.
"That's negligent, and it is unacceptable. It could have been anybody's child, anybody. [A detective] almost fell in that hole yesterday," she continued.
It was not immediately clear who was responsible for digging the hole, which is likely connected to on-going construction in the area. Tuesday night, it was blocked by barricades and surrounded by yellow crime scene tape.
Earlier in the day, more than one-hundred officers from Baton Rouge Police, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana State Police, Louisiana Attorney General's Office, the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children searched for Jassiah Clark.
In an interview earlier Monday, Clark's family told WBRZ Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto they were concerned the situation would end in tragedy but were happy with how police were handling the search.
"I'm greatly satisfied with police," Reed said hours before the tragic discovery. "They are doing everything in their power. They have not missed a beat. Every time I look around, they're here."
Police said the investigation continues and will await a coroner's report that should shed more light on the child's death.
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