Authorities investigate St. Mary Parish teen's 'suspicious' death
ST. MARY PARISH - The family of a 15-year-old boy found dead in a cane field near Loreauville is in search of answers related to the cause of the beloved teen's death.
The family says they were told Quawan Charles drowned but now tell KATC they're having an independent autopsy performed as they suspect foul play may have been involved.
According to the boy's family, Charles was reported missing on Friday Oct. 30 in Baldwin, after he left his home without permission accompanied by two individuals, a 17-year-old friend and the friend's mother. Charles was then found dead Nov. 3 in a rural area off Ed Broussard Road near Loreauville.
"They still have not shown us where Quawan was or what creek he was found at. We can't even go and put up a cross where he was found at. They're being very discreet," Celina Charles, the spokesperson for the family says.
Celina Charles says one reason she and other family members don't believe Quawan drowned is a graphic photo of Quawan's body circulating on social media.
"His face is disfigured. So there's some explaining that needs to be done there. His face is disfigured," Charles said.
Attorney Ron Haley is representing the family, KATC reports
"We have no answers, but were going to get them," Haley said. "They were told things like he's probably at a football game, probably here there, anywhere else, and we don't know if those delays could've contributed to his death. We know when there is a missing child, the most critical moment is when you first call law enforcement that the child is missing."
Haley issued a news release, explaining that in addition to demanding the arrest of anyone involved in Charles' death, the family is investigating the coroner's preliminary findings in relation to the boy's cause of death.
After the family spoke out, the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office released a statement late Tuesday morning saying it was looking into the "suspicious circumstances" surrounding Quawan's death. It added that it is still processing evidence and has reached out to the boy's family amid the growing outrage on social media.
"The Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Investigation continues to investigate the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of a male juvenile, who was discovered by Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office Patrol Deputies on November 3, 2020 near the village of Loreauville.
Investigators have interviewed multiple individuals and collected physical evidence which is being processed. An autopsy has been performed and the results are pending as of this time. Investigators have updated the parents of the juvenile concerning the status of the investigation and will continue to do so throughout the investigation.
Anyone with information concerning this death is urged to contact Detective Jarred Spurlock of the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Investigation at 337-369-3711"
The family's attorney also said they're looking into why the Baldwin Police Department failed to issue an Amber Alert for the missing teenager.
After the family's concerns sparked community interest by way of media attention, the police department released a statement, which is posted on its Facebook Page.
The statement, released Tuesday, is as follows: "On behalf of the Baldwin Police Department, we are not investigating the death of a body found in Loreauville, Iberia Parish. However, the Baldwin Police Department will be investigating reasons why the deceased juvenile was missing from his residence in Baldwin. Proper protocol was used to report the juvenile as missing and all procedures were followed thru within the Baldwin jurisdiction."
A second, independent autopsy is scheduled to be performed in Texas.
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