Child found dead in home homicide victim, police say

A 3-year-old child was found dead in a Marrero home Wednesday in an incident that the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office has confirmed as a homicide, although the exact cause of death has not been released.

Desmond Brown was found dead inside a home in the 2000 block of Rue Racine on Wednesday morning after the Sheriff’s Office responded to a report from the boy’s mother that her son was dead, said Col. John Fortunato, a sheriff’s spokesman.

Fortunato said Lakeisha Brown, 34, called the Sheriff’s Office around 11 a.m. and told dispatchers that her son was dead inside the home. However, Brown said she couldn’t find her keys to an iron security gate at the residence and had to escape from the building via a window to meet deputies.

Fortunato said deputies entered the home through a window and then broke down a door to get to the boy. The first deputies into the home reported a strong odor of gasoline in the structure and immediately called out firefighters who shut off natural gas service at the building, he said.

Fortunato said Desmond Brown was found lying on a couch and appeared to only have “slight trauma” to his body. Fortunato said that apparent trauma is what led to police initially labeling the death a homicide, although he also said the trauma did not appear to be the cause of the boy’s death.

Details on the boy’s exact injuries were not provided.

Brown told investigators that she found the boy’s body on the floor beneath some clothes she was preparing to wash. She said she hadn’t noticed the boy’s body until that time. She said she picked him up from the floor, put him on the couch and, after noticing he wasn’t breathing, called police.

Elizabeth Klein, an investigator with the Coroner’s Office, said the death has been ruled a homicide, but an autopsy on the boy’s body will be performed Thursday to determine the exact cause of death.

Investigators had blocked off the entire street with the Sheriff’s Office’s mobile command unit, and Fortunato said deputies were waiting on search warrants to begin examining the home. Lakeisha Brown was taken in for questioning, but no arrests were made immediately, Fortunato said.

Masked deputies searched the home in Wednesday’s rain.