Iberia Parish Sheriff Tommy Romero issued a statement Saturday afternoon in which he released additional details on the investigation into the death of 15-year-old Quawan "Bobby" Charles "in light of the public interest into the circumstances."
Romero said he wanted to assure the public that IPSO is "following every lead, to gather evidence into what happened in the untimely death" of Charles.
"Any loss of life is a tragedy and that is especially true when it is a young person," Romero added. "Although we believe it is important not to compromise any part of our investigation, we are prepared to release some details so that the public can be assured we are not resting in our effort to find the truth."
In the statement, Romero listed several new details related to the case:
The sheriff said a parent of Charles first notified the Baldwin Police Department of a possible disappearance on October 30; BPD then contacted the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office. It wasn't until November 3, Romero said, that IPSO was contacted by Charles' parent and notified of a potential missing person in the area. Deputies located Charles "within a matter of hours" of being notified, Romero added.
As soon as Charles was found,"We immediately began treating this as a homicide investigation," and deputies have since been "actively and aggressively" collecting evidence, the sheriff stated.
He noted that the case is an active and ongoing homicide investigation.
Investigators have since conducted multiple in-person interviews with those who knew Charles and who may have interacted with him before his death. Investigators have also gathered evidence at the home of individuals who were reportedly with Charles just before his disappearance, have interviewed those individuals, and are actively tracking their whereabouts. A spokesperson for IPSO could not confirm nor deny that the individuals are considered suspects in the case.
Deputies have also spoken with a witness who reportedly saw Charles before his death in the area where he was later found deceased.
Romero added that his team has obtained and reviewed video evidence showing Charles near that same area, which he says indicates no other individuals present with Charles and no individuals present for some time before or after Charles is seen on the recording.
IPSO is awaiting a toxicology report, and an autopsy report was issued on Friday.
"We want to remind the public that this is an active, ongoing homicide investigation," Sheriff Romero said. "We urge anyone who has any additional information which might aid our investigation to come forward and contact the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office at 337-369-3711."
Family members and community activists gathered in Baldwin on Saturday to protest against the BPD and IPSO.
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