Two arrested in death of 5-year-old Elm Grove child
An Elm Grove couple this morning were arrested for negligent homicide in the death of a 5-year-old child, along with possession of Schedule 11 narcotics, according to Bossier Undersheriff Doyle Dempsey.
Wesley Dewayne Lowe, 32, and Catherine Murray Lowe, 34, Sunset Villa in south Bossier Parish, were taken into custody early this morning, following an investigation into the death of little Anna Celeste Lowe. Wesley was the child’s biological father, and Catherine was her stepmother.
The hospital’s emergency room staff told Bossier Sheriff’s investigators that the couple brought the child at approximately 9:30 a.m. Thursday, and tests performed there indicated the time of death to be approximately two hours prior to the child’s arrival at the hospital.
The emergency room staff also told detectives that the husband and wife gave contradictory statements, alleging that the child had been in and out of consciousness during the 20-minute drive to the hospital. In addition, those attending the child noticed child noticed bruising and trauma over the entirety of the child’s body.
The Bossier Parish Deputy Coroner also noted that rigor mortis had begun setting in around the child’s facial area. An autopsy was immediately scheduled and performed by Dr. John Chandler, Bossier Parish coroner. The cause of death was determined to be the result of internal injuries and bleeding into the body cavity.
Investigators then conducted formal interviews with the Lowes at the Bossier Sheriff’s Department detective office. The father and step-mother gave contradictory statements regarding the child’s injuries, and discounted her continuous vomiting and extreme abdominal pain as a common stomach virus.
Catherine Lowe called her husband at approximately 1 a.m. on Thursday expressing concern for the child and the need to get her medical attention. According to Mrs. Lowe, her husband said they could not bring the child to the hospital because Child Protective Services would get involved, and he had a prior with CPS in Nebraska, which was related to a domestic abuse battery arrest.
The child was held out of school Thursday, and brought to Mrs. Lowe’s place of employment near Benton at 7:30 a.m. Co-workers later told investigators that the child was a pale blue color and was unable to walk or stand on her own. Co-workers say they told Mrs. Lowe to seek medical attention for the child immediately feared for her health and safety. Ms. Lowe told investigators she then left her place of employment and began making the long drive back to their home in Elm Grove.
During the trip home, Mrs. Lowe stopped at a grocery store in Bossier City, leaving the child alone in her vehicle. She then resumed the drive home to south Bossier Parish. Deputies say Mrs. Lowe passed several hospitals on the way home and made no attempt to obtain medical attention for the child.
After Mrs. Lowe arrived at their residence, she and Mr. Lowe transported the child to WK Pierremont by private vehicle.
Based on statements made by both Mr. and Mrs. Lowe, as well as Mrs. Lowe’s co-workers and medical professionals both at WK Pierremont and the Bossier Parish coroner’s office, investigators determined that Wesley Dwayne and Catherine Murray Lowe intentionally neglected to provide the child with the critical medical attention she desperately needed for fear of law enforcement and CPS intervention.
In addition, investigators executed a search warrant at the Lowes’ residence and found one bottle containing 11 Oxycodone tablets and one bottle containing 18 Darvocet tables. Those narcotics were seized and have been logged into evidence at the Bossier Sheriff’s Department.