NATCHITOCHES, La. (NPD) - A 6-month-old baby died from severe burns in Natchitoches after a reported kidnapping on July 17.
NPD received a 911 call around 9:10 p.m. in reference to a 6-month-old baby being taken from a residence in Mayberry Trailer Park.
Officers spoke with the child's mother, who said that two unknown suspects came to her trailer and began beating on the door. She said that as she opened the door, she was sprayed in the face with what she believes was mace. The woman fled the residence to get away from the suspects, but when she circled back to the house, she realized the baby was missing.
Officers began immediately searching the area and called in additional officers from the Natchitoches Police Department, Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police and Northwestern State University Police Department. The Natchitoches Fire Department was called to the scene to check on the mother.
Around 10:20 p.m., NPD received a report of a fire near Breda Avenue.
"I called the police because I thought some kids started a fire and I didn't want it to spread," says Kanika Johnson, a woman who lives on Breda Avenue a few blocks down from the fire. She was coming home from a friends' house Tuesday night.
When they arrived, they found a 6-month-old baby with obvious burns on his body.
"I was devastated. I was scared for my kid. It's not a safe place for your kids to play in their yard," Johnson says.
The baby was transported to NRMC in critical condition. He was then airlifted to University Health where he later succumbed to his injuries.
The investigation is ongoing and more details will be provided as they become available.
We also spoke to Susan Straughn, the great-grandmother of the baby who died in the incident. She told News Channel 5 the news is hard to hear, and the infant was the only child of the mother. Straughn also encourages the public to help police by providing any information they can to solve the case, and not to draw conclusions on what they think happened.