An Avoyelles Parish man has been arrested on a charge of first-degree murder following the death of a 2-year-old boy, the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office said.
Bunkie Police are investigating.
John Drummer Jr., 28, of Eola, charged in the Thursday death of Marcus Beal, was nine days from his third birthday. An autopsy to determine the cause of death will be conducted in Lafayette, Avoyelles Coroner Dr. L.J. Mayeux said.
Mayeux told The Bunkie Record he found the injuries “inconsistent with the history given for the child.” He would not reveal what the “history given” was, saying he could make no other comment until the autopsy report is completed.
Drummer is reportedly the boyfriend of the toddler’s mother. Drummer was arrested at the hospital.
It reportedly took several officers to subdue Drummer at the time of his arrest.
The 911 Center received the initial call at 6:55 p.m., with a report of a child not breathing at 802 Chennault St. in Bunkie. The child was taken by car to Bunkie General Hospital at 6:58 p.m. and was pronounced dead at 9:07 p.m.
Bunkie Police Chief Bobby Corner has been unavailable for comment in the case. Bunkie officers say Corner is the only official authorized to release information.
The Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office said it received two requests for assistance from Bunkie Police for crowd control. The first was at the hospital and the second was when police were arriving at the detention center with the suspect.
A deputy’s report on the incident notes that Bunkie officers did not provide any information on the what had happened, saying only that the city police were investigating the incident.
A law enforcement source said upset families and friends of parties involved in the case gathered in a large number outside the hospital. The crowd was so large, hospital staff was concerned and went on “lock down” until the crowd was dispersed.