The Emmett Till of 2020? Body of 15 Year Old Missing Louisiana Boy Found Beaten
*Trigger Warning: this story contains graphic violence*
Quawan Charles was a 15 year old black male from Baldwin, LA. Charles’ family reported him missing on Oct. 30 after he disappeared from his father’s home.
According to ABC News, when Charles’ father got home, he discovered that his son was missing and the family contacted the police to file a missing person report.
Charles’ parents began to search for their son and that was when they discovered that Charles had been picked up by his new friend, Gavin Irvin, and his mother, Janet Irvin, without their permission.
Janet Irvin has been arrested five times since 2002. The father of Irvin’s two youngest children asked for a restraining order and full custody of her children because she was violent and abusive.
A video surveillance that was released showed Charles waiting on the side curb of his house waiting for his ride. A car had pulled up across the street and he began walking towards the car.
According to KATC News, that same car later pulled up into Charles’ driveway where the driver and two passengers, including Charles, got out of the car and were seen walking to Charles’ backyard where they were believed to have been playing with the dog.
Charles was taken back to Janet’s trailer park home where he was last seen alive. Irvin and her son claimed that Charles had left their home without telling them where he was going.
Authorities did not issue an Amber Alert. Police told Charles’ family that he is possibly at a football game and did not indicate that they were going to search for Charles and investigate his disappearance.
The Baldwin Police Assistant Chief, Sam Wise, said that the police did not think the case met the criteria to confirm that Charles had been abducted or kidnapped because there were no eyewitnesses to say that Charles was seen taken into a vehicle.
On Nov. 3, Charles’ body was found in a sugarcane field. Charles was found in a ditch with ankle deep water. Charles’ face was beaten swollen with parts of his jaw exposed and pieces of his skin on his forehead and cheek missing as well as some parts of his lip.
A preliminary autopsy report says that Charles likely died due to “drowning” because his lungs were filled with mud and water. Reports are said that the wounds on his face could be from “aquatic animal activity.”
A second autopsy will be performed after Charles’ family insisted that there was no way a 5’6 teen could drown in a ditch filled with two feet of water.
Charles' case has been compared to the Emmett Till case in 1955. Till was a 14 year old African American male from Chicago. He was found brutally murdered a couple of days later after allegedly flirting with a white woman, Carolyn Bryant, in a store.
There were no witnesses in the store, Bryant was the only other person in the store and she claimed that he grabbed her and wolf-whistled at her.
Bryant later denied her testimony and admitted that Till had never touched, threatened, or harassed her.
Till’s case had an all white jury. The jury explained that the state failed to identify the body so his murderers were found not guilty. There are still many details of Charles' death yet to be uncovered. Since Till failed to get justice for his murder, hopefully Charles will get justice for his.