May 25, 2007
Reported by: Britney Glaser
A local man and woman are behind bars tonight, facing second degree murder charges in the death of a six-month-old baby. The heart-broken family is searching for answers in the death of their beloved little girl, Ja'myiah.
Ja'marquen is just 18 months old - too young to understand that his baby sister is now dead, and his mother and her boyfriend are now behind bars facing murder charges. The baby's mother, Yowanda Ceasor, and her boyfriend, Orland King have been booked for second degree murder and are being jailed at the Calcasieu Correctional Center.
Quintessa Horne is Yowanda's long-time best friend and the news of Ja'myiah's death has been extremely tough for her to accept. I was stunned," says Horne, "I couldn't believe it. I could not believe it."
Those close to Yowanda say she was a great mother and would have never hurt her children. Yoshika Leejy shared a home with Yowanda. She says the news of Yowanda's arrest is nothing less than shocking. "I've been staying with them for a year and she has always been on point and focused with her kids," says Leejy, "she would never let anything happen to them."
Yowanda's brother, Kevin Ceasor says she was a great mom. "She tried to be the best mom she could be."
Calcasieu Parish Coroner Terry Welke says an autopsy reveals the baby died of a head injury. "Upon examination of the head," says Welke, "there was a significant amount of blood between the scalp and the skull and then there was a significant skull fracture or broken bone, broken bones actually, involving the top of the skull."
Friends and family of Yowanda say her boyfriend of only two weeks is at fault in the death of Ja'myiah, after he allegedly locked the door to a bedroom for ten minutes, keeping the others in the house out...while they could hear the baby crying. Kevin was in the house at the time of the alleged incident. He says, "We was like, he must have dropped her or something or slammed her, because he had locked the room for about 10 minutes. If I would've known it, I would have kicked the door in and did something to him. Yowanda's mother, Paula Winford, agrees with Kevin on who is at fault. "I think when he locked her out the room," says Winford, "he did something to that baby."
While it's only allegations from those close to Yowanda, the truth in this tragedy is that a young life was cut off far too soon. "It ain't right," says Kevin, "a five-month-old baby."