DARROW — Eva Smylie knew something was wrong when her brother, Darren Smylie Sr., showed up at her door, out of breath.
“I said, ‘Brother, what’s wrong?’ ”, Eva Smylie said. “He said, ‘I think D is dead.’ ”
Smylie Sr. found his son, Darren Keith Smylie Jr., dead in his Venus Avenue home Monday afternoon, an Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office official said.
Authorities do not have a suspect or motive in the killing at 39068 Venus Ave., Sheriff’s Office spokes-man Lt. Col. Paul Robert said.
Robert said authorities are still investigating the cause of death.
Smylie’s family, however, said he was stabbed to death.
“What happened makes me think it’s something an animal would do. I mean, they butchered him like he was a dog,” Eva Smylie said. “I want justice done.”
Smylie Jr., 19, worked as a longshoreman for Cooper/T. Smith Stevedoring, and Monday was his day off, his aunt said.
Friends and family in this tight-knit neighborhood knew Smylie Jr., who lived with his father, as “Dee Gee.” They were angry and “shocked” at Smylie Jr.’s death.
“He was very kind and sweet. He loved his family and he loved people,” Eva Smylie said.
Vehicles parked along the streets and in the median leading up to the neighborhood, and everyone was outside, milling around, and talking on just about every well-trimmed lawn down Galaxy and Venus streets.
Smylie Jr.’s cousin, Nikkia Smith, stood under some trees by the Smylie house.
Smylie Jr.’s grandmother lives in the house next door, she said, and the extended family is scattered throughout the neighborhood.
“Everybody knows everybody here. Everybody basically gets along. We’re just shocked,” Smith said, adding that no one really fears for their safety here.
Smylie Jr. was the baby of the family, Smith said, with an older sister at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, and an older brother living in Texas.
“He had a relationship with his mother, but his father raised them,” Smith said. “They were really close.”
Smylie Jr. graduated from St. Amant High School just two years ago, Smith said, where he played basketball and football.
“He was a sweet person,” she said. An aspiring rapper and disc jockey, he was planning on making a CD. “He was just trying to start his life. He didn’t cause any trouble.”