When her family reported her missing, 15-year-old Quan Charles was found dead in a sugarcane farm, more than 20 miles from her home in Baldwin, La., Her face badly dislocated. Was.
An initial autopsy found that he died of drowning. But the circumstances surrounding his disappearance and the laxity of the local police to take action prompted the boy’s family to begin an independent autopsy and questioned whether his death could have been prevented.
“It appears that something disgusting happened to Bobby,” said Ron Hall, a lawyer, in an interview, using Cowan’s surname. “It was a deliberate act or gross reckless indifference to human life, it is still terrible.”
On October 30, Cowan’s mother planned to take him to her father’s house at 3pm to get a haircut, but he did not answer her phone, according to Mr. Hall. When he did not reply till 7 pm, his parents began to worry. His father locked his locked bedroom door, realized they were missing and the Baldwin Police Department called, Mr. Hall said.
Police assured Kwan’s parents that he was probably at a football game or with friends, Mr. Hall said. No Amber Alert was issued.
Disappointed, the family took matters into their own hands and discovered that Cowan was raised by Janet Irwin and her son without their parents’ permission, Mr. Hall said. He said he was taken to the neighboring Iberia Parish’s home.
Mr. Hall said that it is unclear why, how or how he got out of Quan Irwin’s house. Ms. Irwin did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday, and the Baldwin Police Department, which is investigating Cowan’s disappearance, did not respond to questions.
Cowan’s parents contacted authorities in neighboring Ibaria Parish on 3 November to involve them in the search.
Within hours of Cowan being reported to be under their jurisdiction, the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Team discovered the corpse of a teenage boy around 6pm at a sloppy farm near Lowerville, a small rural community in Irvine Not far from home, he pinged Quanon’s cellphone, Mr. Hall said.
A statement in the office Saturday said that after the corpse was found, the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated a murder that included interviews with people believed to be with Cowan before disappearing And were searching his house. A spokeswoman declined to answer whether it included Ms. Irwin and her son.
“We interviewed similar individuals and are currently tracking their locations,” the statement said. According to the statement, video evidence recorded near the area where her body was found shows that Cowan was alone for some time before and after the recording.
An initial autopsy report released on Friday by the Iberia Parish Coroner stated that the cause of Cowan’s death was drowning, citing dirty water found in her airways and hyperflated lungs. In the report, the coroner attributed the scratches and wounds on Cowan’s face to “aquatic animal activity” and said the boy had not suffered injuries before his death.
A toxicology report has not yet been released.
Mr. Sugarcane said that there are several bodies of water near the sugarcane field, where the quan was found, but none deeper than two feet.
“If indeed he died of drowning – and we are saying that as if – we are calling into question how exactly that would have happened,” Mr. Hall said. “Can a 5-foot-6 usually submerge in two feet of water? No, unless another reason is connected. “
The Baldwin Police Department, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Saturday, said in a statement on Tuesday that it would handle an investigation into her disappearance. Kavan’s death will be investigated by the Iwania Parish Sheriff’s Office – as a homicide. The police department stated that “proper protocol was used to report the teenager missing.”
Mr Hall said the family had conducted an independent autopsy and sent an investigator to capture drone footage of the areas where Cowan was found.
According to Mr. Hall, Cowan was a quiet teenager who had seven siblings. He had a sense of humor that would come to know a person and recently he adopted a dog, which he named after me, The washington post.
“Like a lot of teenagers, he was just at the age where you were trying to carve out your place in this world,” said Andre Arkanew, a local activist who founded Stand Black, an advocacy group. “He was just a good kid and something happened to him that we don’t yet know the ins and outs.”
When his family saw Kwan’s pictures taken at night in the coroner’s office, a quarter of his face was disfigured, revealing half of his teeth in a horrific, exuberant grin – they compared his appearance. Emmett TillA 14-year-old black man who died in 1955 recalled Mr. Arkanew, who was with him at the time.
Cowan’s mother decided to release a photo, Mr. Arknew said.
“She somehow had the bravery to say, ‘The world needs to see my child; The world needs to see what it looks like,'” said Mr. Arkanew. “Sometimes it happens Is for people to see the seriousness of what happened. “
On a GoFundMe page for Cowan’s family, Mr. Till and Mr. Charles is shown side by side, with his face captioned under the titles “1955” and “2020”. As of Saturday afternoon, more than $ 235,000 had been raised towards the cost of autopsy and funeral.
Mr Hall said that Qion’s death has not been considered racially motivated by authorities or his family.
Mr. Arcenuco said that seeing Cowan at a football game or issuing an amber alert immediately after the police’s failure was a sign of a larger issue.
“Regardless of whether or not it is racially motivated, regardless of the situation surrounding her death, the police department did not act in the same way as if Cowan was a 15-year-old white girl named Katie. Diya, that’s the problem, ”Mr. Arknew said.
The American Civil Liberties Union has supported the call for an independent and transparent investigation Statement From ACLU Executive Director Alana Odames Hebert of Louisiana.
“The lack of transparency and outrage displayed by local authorities in response to the tragic and suspicious death of Bobby is unacceptable,” Ms. Odams Hebert said in a statement. “We joined the family, demanding a complete and transparent investigation of the circumstances surrounding Bobby’s death.”
Cowan’s family has held demonstrations outside the Baldwin Police Department and the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office to call for justice and answers. He feels that if action is taken soon, Kwan may be alive today, Mr. Hall said.
“He’s still a child,” he said. “If there’s a 1 percent chance to stop what happened to Bobby – whatever it was – if you put all the resources into finding this child, you take that opportunity.”