Family, friends and social justice activists gathered in Baldwin today to mark a special birthday that one young man never saw.
Quawan Charles was 15 years old when he died; his body was found in a sugar cane field after he left his father's Baldwin home back in October. His family have hired two attorneys to help them, because they feel police should have searched more aggressively for him after he was reported missing, and that his death has not and is not being investigated properly.
The Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office is investigating Charles' death as a homicide. They have not released many details. Both their autopsy and that of the family's expert found Charles died from drowning. Baldwin Police, the agency that got the missing report, released a video showing Charles being picked up near his dad's house on the day he went missing. To read more about that, click here.
Celina Charles, Quawan's first cousin, said today would have been his 16th birthday.
"Quawan was a sweet, humble child," she said of her cousin. "He loved to ride his four-wheeler. He loved to fish. He was quiet, and friendly, and his family loved him."
She said family and friends came together to celebrate that special birthday; they were joined by social justice activists and conducted a protest outside the Baldwin Police Department as well.
"We're here to celebrate, the normal thing a 16-year-old would do, celebrate," she said. "Unfortunately he's not here."