Investigative Unit Exclusive: Family of frozen fetus demands answers
LABADIEVILLE- The family of a fetus jammed in a cooler for the past six years is demanding answers over why it is still in a freezer tonight.
The WBRZ Investigative Unit uncovered a fetus is being stored in a freezer at the Labadieville substation in Assumption Parish. Our report shows politics could be standing in the way of getting the child a proper burial. Sheriff Mike Waguespack and District Attorney Ricky Babin tried for years to get something done. However, Judge Guy Holdridge would not sign off on a motion to dispose of the fetus.
The mother of the 12-year old who miscarried the fetus is disgusted.
"I'm in complete awe at all of this," The woman who did not want to be identified said. "I'm at a loss for words really."
Last week, she was more than perturbed to find out the fetus is still in the freezer.
"I'm just shocked," She said. "I did not have no imagination that it would still be there."
Her daughter was 12 at the time when she was raped by Leon Johnlouis. Johnlouis' DNA tested as a positive match to the miscarried fetus. The court ordered the Sheriff's Office to hold on to the fetus for two years after Johnlouis' conviction, so he could appeal if he wanted.
In 2012, the process began to give the fetus a pauper burial. However, Judge Guy Holdridge would not sign off on it, according to Sheriff Mike Waguespack and District Attorney Ricky Babin.
"The court would not sign an order without permission and consent of the victim who was a minor," District Attorney Ricky Babin said.
Sheriff Waguespack kept extensive records about this case. Alarming conversations began to emerge over alleged reasons for why the fetus is still in the freezer. In July of this year, the Sheriff's Office documented the following discussion as it continued to note the reasons for holding the fetus.
"Judge would not sign it till after the august election."
That statement was apparently referring to a higher court position the judge was seeking.
"I'm certainly not trying to throw anyone under the bus-- but you have to understand the sheriff can only do what he is ordered to do by a district court judge," Waguespack said. "Until that motion is signed by the judge, my hands are tied."
When asked what the mother wants the Judge to do on Monday, she responded, "I want him to do whatever is necessary so the matter could have been taken care of," She said. "What else is there to do, leave the baby in the freezer?"
A court hearing is scheduled in the morning about this issue. Stay with WBRZ for the latest information throughout the day Monday on this case.
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