EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, LA (WAFB) -The death of a 1-year-old Baton Rouge boy has been ruled a homicide, and his father has been arrested in connection with the death.
The child’s father, Terrence Neal Ransom, 33, has been charged with first degree murder in connection with the boy’s death.
Detectives say while investigating the boy’s death, they were told the infant, Josiah Crockett, stopped breathing while the boy’s father and girlfriend were “getting high.”
In addition to the first degree murder charges, Ransom and his girlfriend, Shanta T. Parker, 29, are facing various drug and firearm charges.
Dr. William “Beau” Clark says an autopsy shows Crockett died of “multiple blunt force injuries to the chest and abdomen.” The report from the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office says during the autopsy, bruises consistent with an adult fist were found on Crockett’s sides. He also had rib fractures on both sides, internal hemorrhages on his chest, and a lacerated liver.
“The untimely death of anybody in our community is a tragedy, but certainly when we talk about children, it seems to be so much harder,” said Clark.
On Saturday, May 4, paramedics were called to a home on Hanks Drive near Winbourne Avenue regarding an “unresponsive 11-month-old child,” according to an incident report from EBRSO.
As paramedics were attempting to transport the boy to Our Lady of the Lake Medical Center, the child began to lose consciousness. Paramedics brought him to the closest medical facility, OLOL North, according to the incident report.
“Upon arrival, the child did not respond to resuscitation measures and was pronounced dead,” the report stated.
EBRSO further states doctors at the hospital noted multiple bruises, contusions, and hematomas on various parts of Crockett’s body. A large hematoma was observed on each side of the boy’s chest, doctors say. He also had a hemorrhage in his left eye. EBRSO says the doctor advised the injuries were consistent with physical abuse.
Deputies then searched the apartment where the boy lived and said they found two handguns, including one that had been reported stolen, as well as 44 grams of suspected marijuana, a box of plastic baggies, and a digital scale.
Neighbors who did not want to be identified told WAFB’s Scottie Hunter they are horrified something like this happened just doors away.
“I have children of my own and I mean, I never want to see a child leave this world. It’s just sad,” one mother said.
After being arrested, Parker was interviewed by detectives with EBRSO. The report says she told investigators that on Saturday, May 4, she left the boy on the bed alone in the room with Ransom, his biological father. She says moments later, she heard the boy screaming and crying. When she came back to the bedroom, she claims the boy was no longer on the bed, but was on the floor instead. The report says the told detectives she saw Ransom standing over the child yelling profanities at him. She says she picked Crockett up off the floor and carried him to the living room to tend to him, but that Ransom came up behind her and punched her and the baby. The report says Parker made other statements as well that matched up with the injuries noted in the autopsy.
After being arrested and read his rights, Ransom claimed he did not know how or who caused the injuries to his son, or his death. When showed photographs of the injuries, Ransom reportedly said he did not know who caused them and that he was tired of answering questions.
The baby had been in Ransom’s care for a while. A spokesperson with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) was able to identify the child’s birth mother as Jimeelah Crockett. Court records show Crockett is currently locked up in a separate case, accused of shooting and killing her fiancée back in 2017.
“You never think that nothing like this will happen,” a neighbor said.
As police continue to investigate, those living at the apartment complex call the baby’s death unforgivable and they just cannot come to terms with how anyone could hurt a child.
“There’s nothing that they can do for you to harm them, like nothing at all,” a neighbor added. “I just don’t understand.”
Ransom is charged with distribution of schedule I narcotics, illegal carrying of weapons with drugs, illegal possession of stolen firearms, and possession of drug paraphernalia. In connection with his son’s death, he’s also facing charges of first degree murder, cruelty to juveniles, and domestic abuse battery.
Parker is charged with distribution of schedule I narcotics, illegal carrying of weapons with drugs, and possession of drug paraphernalia.