After Teen Found Dead, Friend's Mom Is Charged

Janet Irvin charged with failing to report the disappearance of Quawan Charles in Louisiana
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2021 11:39 AM CST
After Teen Found Dead, Friend's Mom Is Charged
This photo provided by the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office, in New Iberia, Louisiana, shows Janet Irvin.   (Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office via AP)

When a teenage boy was found dead in a shallow pool of water in Louisiana in November, family members faulted Baldwin Police, who they said had failed to search for the boy when he was reported missing days earlier, and the mother of one of the boy's friends, who they said had picked him up without his parents' permission. That woman, 37-year-old Janet Irvin, is now facing the first charges related to Quawan Charles, 15. Irvin was charged Tuesday with failure to report a missing child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, reports the New York Times. Irvin, whose bail is set at $400,000, remained in custody as of Thursday afternoon. "By no means is this case closed," Iberia Parish Sheriff Thomas Romero says, per the Times. But "I hope this arrest begins to help their family heal."

Sheriff's deputies tracing a cellphone signal found Quawan's naked body face down in a drainage ditch in a sugar cane field in Iberia Parish, four days after Quawan had been reported missing to Baldwin Police in St. Mary Parish, per People. Family members claim they found out Irvin and her son had taken Quawan to their home, near where his body was found. Their lawyer previously said Quawan may have been "high on a hallucinogen" when he left the home on foot. An autopsy ordered by the family confirmed Quawan drowned, apparently with THC and alcohol in his system, per KATC. It also cited video allegedly showing the teen "crawling in culverts" alone near a school. It couldn't be determined whether the death was an accident, suicide, or murder. (Quawan was Black, and his family says police didn't take his disappearance seriously because of that.)

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