NATCHITOCHES, LA — Police have arrested the mother of a six-month-old boy who was found burned to death. She originally reported that the baby had been forcibly abducted from her home.
On the night of July 17, Hannah Barker, 23, called police to say that men had banged on the door of her trailer and attacked her with pepper spray.
Baker said that after fleeing the intruders, she returned home to find that Levi Cole Ellerbe, her infant son, was missing.
About an hour later, searchers found baby Levi severely burned approximately one mile from the trailer, by some railroad tracks. Emergency responders airlifted him to a burn center, but the baby died shortly thereafter from his injuries.
Several days later, officers arrested Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith, 25, in connection with Levi’s death, charging her with first-degree murder.
Now, according to Natchitoches Police and the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office, Barker has been charged with one count of a principal to first-degree murder.Related: Experts Reveal What Can Drive Moms To Kill Their Kids
State Fire Marshal Chief H. Butch Browning told the press:
“I want to highlight the determination and dedication of the team of investigators from both agencies who have doggedly worked this case from the start.”
Barker and Smith allegedly knew each other prior to Levi’s death, but officials say they are withholding details at present due to the high-profile nature of the case.
More information will reportedly be forthcoming.
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Main photo: Hannah Barker [Natchitoches Police Department]