A Louisiana woman is in jail for murder after an infant boy, reportedly abducted from his Natchitoches home, died last Tuesday from significant burn injuries.
KTBS reports that the Natchitoches Police Department and the Louisiana Fire Marshal’s Office arrested 25-year-old Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith for the murder of 6-month old Levi Cole Ellerbe.
On July 17, a woman called police and said she was the mother of the baby boy. She claimed two unknown men knocked on the door of her home and when she answered, the men began spraying her in the face with what she thought was mace. In a reported panic, she ran away, leaving Levi inside the residence. She stated she thought the attackers were after her and not the baby, although she said she had never seen the men before.
The description of the two reported men was never released.
BREAKING: Woman charged with 1st-degree murder in death of 6-month-old Levi Cole Ellerbe last week in #Natchitoches. Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith, 25, was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center on Saturday, says @LAFIREMARSHAL. pic.twitter.com/pEThZgYmSk
— Melissa Gregory (@JournoMGregory) July 23, 2018
Authorities initially indicated that Smith was the mother of the baby. However, according to Nola.com, the fire marshal’s office confirmed Smith was not the mother.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, law enforcement agencies, including Natchitoches PD, Louisiana State Police, Northwestern State University Police Department, and the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office began searching the area for the Levi. They discovered the baby with severe burns on his body a little after 10:20 p.m. when local Natchitoches resident Kanika Johnson called in to report a fire off of Breda Avenue, a few blocks from her home, KALB reports.
“I called the police because I thought some kids started a fire and I didn’t want it to spread,” Johnson said.
Authorities rushed the infant to a local medical center. He was later airlifted to University Health in Shreveport, where he later died.
The baby was the only child of his true mother, whose name is undisclosed at this time. CrimeOnline spoke with Captain Payne with Natchitoches PD, who said there is no new information at this time. It’s unclear how and if Smith knew the baby or his mother.
Woman arrested for 1st Degree Murder in Fire-Related Homicide of InfantThe Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal, in…
The case is still under investigation. Anyone with any information to contact Natchitoches PD at 318-325-8101.
Smith remains behind bars at the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center without bond.
*Editor’s Note*: An earlier report indicated the suspect reportedly called police herself and said the infant was kidnapped. However, due to conflicting reports, the information has been edited until further verification from law enforcement.
[Feature Photo: Levi Ellerbe/Facebook]