Lousiana authorities are treating the mysterious death of Quawan Charles, a 15-year-old boy found dead this month, as a homicide.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Quawan’s family members have started an independent investigation into his death after he was found deceased in a rural, wooded area near Loreauville on November 3. The family reportedly said that officials said the teen drowned in ankle-deep water, with muddy water found in his lungs, but a graphic death photo has the family questioning what really happened.
“My son has a big knot on his head,” mother Roxanne Nelson told KATC 3. “It’s obvious someone hit him in the head with something.
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Quawan, a quiet teen who struggled with dyslexia, was last seen with an adult, Janet Irvin, and her 17-year-old son Gavin, on October 30. Quawan was at his father’s house in Baldwin at the time and left while his father was at the store. Family members stressed that they did not give Janet Irvin permission to pick up Quawan.
Later that night, and after unsuccessful attempts to reach him, the family reported him missing to the Baldwin police and requested an AMBER Alert.
The family said that authorities declined to issue the alert and blew off their concerns, claiming Quawan was likely at a football game or with friends. His mother said it was unlike Quawan not to answer his phone; he was excited about getting a haircut and would have responded if he could have.
“There was no Amber Alert issued,” Chase Trichell, the family’s lawyer, told News 10. “The police did not take this seriously, at least initially, and the question of course is, could his life have been saved?”
Family members started a GoFundMe page (Warning: Graphic Photo) to help raise money for an independent investigation. Quawan’s body was sent to the American Forensics in Mesquite, Texas, last week for an independent autopsy
When Quawan Charles disappeared from his home, police did not search for him or issue an Amber Alert.
When they found his mutilated body, they said he “drowned.”
Quawan's family is searching for answers: https://t.co/kYbJgILcUQ pic.twitter.com/R0Een17NfR
— The Root (@TheRoot) November 11, 2020
WFAB 9 reports that security footage collected indicated that Quawan was alone at the time of his death. However, Sheriff Tommy Romero confirmed that authorities are treating the teen’s untimely death as a homicide.
“We gathered evidence at the home of individuals who reportedly were with Quawan ‘Bobby’ Charles just before his disappearance. We interviewed these same individuals and are actively tracking their whereabouts. We have spoken with at least one eye witness who reportedly saw Quawan ‘Bobby’ Charles before his death in the area near where he was later found deceased.”
According to the Washington Post, the Irvin family has not spoken to Quawan’s family since the boy’s death. Kenneth Jacko, Quawan’s father, said that Gavin told police that Quawan was at his home on October 30 but left alone and didn’t return.
“[Gavin] said Quawan got up and said he was leaving. [Gavin] asked about where Quawan was going, and after that, he disappeared,” Jacko said.
Authorities searched the Irvin’s home but didn’t find anything suspicious, according to Jacko.
We are disgusted and heartbroken about the brutal murder of Quawan Charles. The 15-year-old went missing in Baldwin, LA on Oct. 30, and was found days later lynched severely beaten. Officials Told family that he likely drowned. We demand #JusticeforQuawanCharles #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/u0tZ7oughn
— MEFeater Magazine (@mefeater) November 13, 2020
The Irvins are no longer living in the trailer home they were in when Quawan was with them. They may have gotten evicted, the Post reports.
“This is a nightmare. I’ve had to go on a wild goose chase just to get information,’ Roxanne Nelson said.
“I want the lady who came to get my son without my permission, his dad’s permission, to be held accountable. She took them to her house. He was alive and well when he was here, and now he is dead.”
So far, no one has been named a suspect in connection with Quawan’s death.
Check back for updates.
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[Feature Photo: Quawan Charles/Handout]