An unfathomable story is unfolding in the rural South. A six-month-old boy is dead after his kidnappers set him on fire and dumped him. One woman has been arrested in connection with the crime, but two others remain at large. Police have yet to release a motive for the murder or the kidnapping, and the horror of the incident has local residents on edge.
Levi Cole Ellerbe was kidnapped in Natchitoches, Louisiana on July 17. Two people reportedly after two people came to Hanna Barker’s trailer door just after 9pm. Baker, Levi’s mother, was sprayed in the face with mace.
She ran from the scene, leaving the baby behind. When police arrived on scene, Levi was gone. The search for the boy began immediately.
Less than two hours later, Levi was found. There was a fire burning beside railroad tracks, and Levi was there, badly burned–but alive.
The boy, in critical condition, was rushed to the hospital. He later died from his injuries.
Kanika Johnson, Baker’s neighbor, reported the fire. “I just seen it on fire. I didn’t see nobody or nothing,” she told reporters. “I just thought some kids might have set it on fire or something.”
“I had called the police and told them to hurry up and send somebody to put the fire out before it spreads. And [the next day] I found out it was a baby.”
“Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith, 25, was charged with the first degree murder of Levi on Saturday and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center,” The Daily Mail writes.
The police are still reticent to release details on the crime. Many are asking if Smith knew Hannah Baker. Reports suggest that the two are friends on Facebook.
Authorities are also looking for two others, though their identities have not been released.
“Levi, who had three sisters, Brookelaine, Elizabeth, and Nevaeh, was laid to rest on Friday,” DM adds. “His obituary described him as ‘the happiest baby who always had a big smile’.”
“He was an animal lover and anytime he could get his hands on his dog, Rex, he loved to pull his ears,” the obituary continued.
“Levi was a blessing to our family and everyone who met him. We will always remember him as our little ‘Chunky Monkey’.”