News

Arrest made in case of Louisiana teen who disappeared, was found dead

Quawan “Bobby” Charles, 15, was reported missing by his family on Oct. 30.

A woman was arrested Tuesday in connection to the case of a Black teenager who disappeared in Louisiana last year and was found dead four days after he was reported missing, a sheriff said.

Janet Irvin, 37, was arrested on one count of each of failure to report a missing child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Iberia Parish Sheriff Tommy Romero said.

It wasn’t immediately clear late Tuesday what role authorities think she played and if she had an attorney who could speak for her.

Quawan “Bobby” Charles, 15, was reported missing to police in Baldwin in St. Mary Parish on Oct. 30, authorities have said. Four days later, his body was found in a sugar cane field in Iberia Parish, near the village of Loreauville.

“I’m confident that my office has put together an extremely strong case against Mrs. Irvin,” Romero said in a video statement. He added that after Irvin was arrested, he personally spoke with the teen’s family.

“I hope this arrest begins to help their family heal. And by no means is this case closed,” Romero said.

Charles’ relatives and others have called for an independent investigation, raised questions about whether his race played a role in the police response and asked whether Baldwin police exhausted all their resources in looking for him.

Iberia Parish is adjacent to St. Mary Parish, where Baldwin is. Romero said Tuesday that the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office wasn’t told about a missing juvenile in its parish until his mother informed them on Nov. 3, which is the same day the body would be found.