BR police issue murder warrant in city’s third slaying of ’14

A mother of four young children, who recently opened her North Donmoor Avenue apartment to a cousin who needed a place to live, died early Wednesday morning after being struck in the head with a small, blunt weapon, and police are looking for the cousin.

As of late Wednesday, authorities had not located Antonio Baquedano, 37, who police have accused of inflicting the fatal blow to the head of his 29-year-old cousin at about 3 a.m. Wednesday in the 700 block of North Donmoor Avenue, just north of Florida Boulevard, said Cpl. L’Jean McKneely, a Baton Rouge police spokesman.

Maura Baquedano was pronounced dead at the apartment early Wednesday, and the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office will conduct an autopsy Friday morning, said Dr. Beau Clark, the parish coroner.

Antonio Baquedano is being sought on a count of second-degree murder in the killing of his cousin, who had recently allowed the man to move in with her family while he searched for a permanent place to live, according to their family members.

Relatives gathered outside the apartment complex Wednesday afternoon, some visibly stricken with grief.

“It was a surprise for us,” said Giovani Baquedano, the slain woman’s brother-in law. He said Antonio Baquedano, who has lived in Baton Rouge for some time, had recently moved in with Maura Baquedano.

“She opened her door for him,” Giovani Baquedano said.

The woman had four children ranging in age from about 1 to 8 years old who are now being cared for by her sister, Julia Baquedano. “She was a good mother,” said Julia Baquedano, who has two children of her own.

Police said Antonio Baquedano fled the apartment complex before police arrived Wednesday morning. He is described as a Hispanic man, about 5 feet 4 inches tall, weighing about 150 to 160 pounds. He was last seen wearing jeans, a camouflage jacket and an LSU cap.

Police asked anyone with information about the killing — the city’s third of the year — to call (225) 389-4869.