NEW ORLEANS, LA – A four-year-old little girl was apparently beaten to death in New Orleans, Louisiana. Now, the mother’s boyfriend, who is wanted in connection with the brutal murder of a little girl, is on the run.
The mother of the child told authorities that she had left the toddler, Jo’nyri Hawkins, and her other two children in the care of her boyfriend, Anfernee Devante Steele, while she had gone to a party. When she returned home on October 3rd, at roughly 5am, she found Hawkins unresponsive.
Steele allegedly told the mother that Hawkins had fallen while taking a bath and begged her not to call 911. Of course, she refused and called for medics to respond to the scene in attempts to save the young girl’s life.
Hawkins was transported to a local hospital and while she was receiving medical care, Steele allegedly hid from family members in a vehicle. Steele also allegedly told Hawkins’ elder sibling “remember what I told you.” Sadly, the toddler succumbed to her injuries at the hospital and was pronounced deceased.
Steele was questioned by police regarding the circumstances surrounding the toddler’s death. He allegedly told them that Hawkins was taking a bath while he was taking a nap after getting high on marijuana.
Steele claimed, according to police, that he awoke after he heard a noise in the bathtub and splashing. He went into the bathroom and alleges that he pressed on her stomach because he was afraid she had swallowed water.
Police allege that he said that she was breathing normally so he dried her off and put her to bed before the mother returned home. Police conducted a search of the location that they were staying, in the 500 block of Canal Street, and noted that all of the towels were dry, indicating that no one had been recently dried off, as Steele claimed.
An autopsy was performed on the toddler which showed “severe bodily injuries” which were not consistent with her falling in the bathtub. Hawkins had massive internal injuries to her spleen and liver, which were ruptured. These injuries were more consistent with someone punching or kicking the toddler in the stomach.
In addition, the autopsy showed that there were signs of other physical and sexual abuse. They noted that there were scars, bite marks, and a fractured rib, none of which, obviously, could have happened if Hawkins had truly just slipped and fell in a bathtub.
The New Orleans Police Department has obtained an arrest warrant for Steele which is apparently on the run. When they went to find him, it was apparent that Steele had fled in attempts to evade capture. Police said:
“The NOPD has obtained an arrest warrant for Anfernee Devante Steele…in the investigation of a homicide on October 3, 2020 in the 500 block of Canal Street.
“Through investigation, Steele has been developed and positively identified as the perpetrator in this incident. NOPD Homicide Unit detective are seeking Steele on a warrant for one count of second-degree murder and one count of second-degree cruelty to juveniles.”
Nothing mobilizes police forces throughout the United States like searching for suspects that have brutalized young children. Because of this, you can be assured that every law enforcement agency in the area will be actively looking for Steele until he can be located and brought to justice.
New Orleans Police are asking for anyone with any information on Steele’s whereabouts to contact the local police department immediately. Anyone with information on the case is also asked to contact the police department.
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October 21, 2020
NASHVILLE, TN – A 33-year-old man was recently arrested in Tennessee for allegedly killing a two-year-old boy. What makes this alleged murder all the more sinister is that the man is said to be the deceased’s stepfather.
— FoxNashville (@FOXNashville) October 14, 2020
According to reports, both the Metro Nashville Police Department and the Nashville Fire Department responded to a home located on 432 North 2nd Street in Nashville on October 9th due to a child that was said to be unconscious and not breathing.
Unfortunately, two-year-old Cincere Hathaway was later pronounced dead while at the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital that very day.
When an autopsy was performed on the young boy, evidence of foul play was discovered.
According to the autopsy results, baby Cincere had suffered two skull fractures in conjunction with bleeding to the brain, nine fractures within the ribs, and numerous internal injuries that included a lacerated liver and lung that had become attached to the rib cage.
Overall, the evidence discovered from the autopsy pointed to severe trauma consistent with child abuse.
On October 13th, Cincere’s stepfather, 33-year-old Rozelle Westmoreland, had been arrested due to an arrest warrant related to a probation violation. When Westmoreland was being questioned about what transpired on the day Cincere had died, Westmoreland offered a detailed account of what he did to the child.
According to police, Westmoreland told investigators that he’d become upset due to the child’s incessant whining and began hitting the child. Westmoreland was said to have admitted to shoving the child against the side of the bathtub – which resulted in the child bouncing off the side of the tub and hitting his head on the floor.
After having collided with the side of the tub and the floor, Westmoreland reportedly admitted to having simply dressed the child and placing him into bed. It was at this time that baby Cincere was encountering difficulty breathing.
Apparently, Westmoreland left the home thereafter and did nothing to seek medical attention for the child prior to leaving that day.
The suspect is now being held without bond and had his first court appearance on October 15th.
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