Along with the parades and wild parties, the arrival of Mardi Gras brings back memories of an unsolved triple-homicide case that continues to baffle investigators in New Orleans.
The shocking shooting claimed the lives of the Big Chief of the Black Feather Mardi Gras Indian tribe, his pregnant girlfriend who was just days from giving birth, and their unborn child.
On December 16, 2015, 25-year-old Lionel “Bumma” Delpit III; his girlfriend, Breon Stewart, 23; and the couple’s baby, whom they had planned to name Lionel Delpit IV, were dead in the front seat of their car, a blue PT Cruiser.
Orleans parish coroner Dr. Jeffrey Rouse said later that that since the gunshot wounds caused the death of the fetus, whose due date was December 29, the unborn child’s death should be treated as a homicide.
Neighbors said the couple pulled into the parking lot of the Wind Run Apartments at around 10 P.M. when shots were fired. Police believe that Stewart or Delpit were targeted by one or more attackers, and that the shooting was not random, but they have not identified any suspects in the slayings.
Delpit was convicted of heroin distribution in 2012, but friends said he had turned his life around, working multiple jobs and looking forward to the birth of his son.
In his role with the Black Feather Mardi Gras Indians, Delpit led a troupe that dressed in clothing inspired by Native American communities during Mardi Gras.
Stewart, who graduated at the top of her high school class, was an aspiring nursing student known for her sunny disposition.
The double murder sparked a huge outpouring on social media with friends, family, and members of the community paying their respects to the couple and their unborn son.
Main photo: Lionel Delpit and Breon Stewart [Fox 8/YouTube (screenshot)]