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Facebook Live stabbing victim died of smoke inhalation after attacker set car on fire, coroner says

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BATON  ROUGE - A woman who was repeatedly stabbed inside a car during a vicious attack that was livestreamed on social media was still alive when her attacker set the vehicle on fire, initial autopsy results show.

Janice David—who was tied to the steering wheel with jumper cables throughout the entire ordeal—died from smoke inhalation, according to the East Baton Rouge Coroner's Office. 

The 34-year-old was found dead inside that car outside the Sherwood Tower office building April 18 after law enforcement was tipped off about the stabbing, which happened sometime before 5 p.m. that afternoon. The car had been there for hours.

Police later said that David's accused killer, Earl Johnson Jr., had beaten, choked and stabbed her after the two went on a days-long "drug binge."

"Apparently they were involved in some drug usage together for a couple of days and the end result—as everyone has seen on Facebook Live—is a very gruesome, very evil act," BRPD spokesperson L'Jean McKneely said last week.  

Investigators said last week it appeared that Johnson had tried to set the car ablaze after the stabbing, but the fire went out on its own after he fled. 

Johnson was later spotted running through multiple Baton Rouge neighborhoods and was captured by police after he led them on a pursuit in a stolen car. Investigators learned about the stabbing while he was in custody for that chase.

Police said he ultimately confessed to David's murder. 

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