Daniel Beckley would not open the door. It was Sunday night, and outside, there were maybe 100 people on the lawn who had just learned that 16-year-old Jorion White was dead. Some of them were accusing Beckley of murder.

“He’s inside!” they shouted, according to a police report. “He killed her!”

Beckley stayed put, fearing the crowd might take justice into its own hands. It felt like “they were trying to kill me,” he said.

Beckley, 40, has not been named a suspect in White’s death. But he has clearly fallen under suspicion, not just among members of the girl’s family but also the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, which has questioned him.

He is the boyfriend of White’s mother, 38-year-old Michelle Price, and had been living at the family’s home in Kenner when the girl went missing. He acknowledges being the last known person to see her alive.

When a passerby found White’s body in a ditch in St. Rose on Sunday, the relatives and friends who had been canvassing for her turned up outside of her house and demanded to see Beckley.

The crowd grew so large that police were called out. An incident report puts the number of people gathered at about 100. Five of them were jailed on suspicion of disturbing the peace after they refused to leave.

Beckley said he and White’s mother were interviewed by St. Charles Parish detectives, who are leading the investigation into the girl’s death because they patrol the area where she was found.

Attempts to speak with Price earlier this week were unsuccessful. Meanwhile, the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office has said it has a specific “person of interest” in White’s death — which remained unclassified Thursday — but wouldn’t say whether it was Beckley or someone else.

In an interview with The New Orleans Advocate, Beckley said it was obvious speaking with St. Charles Parish detectives that they were treating his assertions of innocence skeptically.

He said they also told him he was no longer welcome at his girlfriend’s home. And they confiscated his car and his cellphone, though he has not been arrested.

He said he has been instructed not to attend White’s funeral service, scheduled for Saturday morning.

Motioning to the T-shirt, jogging pants and sneakers he wore outside a fast-food restaurant on Wednesday evening, Beckley said, “What you see is what I have.”

Beckley said he understands the suspicion to an extent, but he flatly denies doing White any harm or knowing who did. He said White was as much family to him as his own biological son from a previous relationship. He described having doted on her for years, attending parent-teacher conferences at school and caring for her while she was sick.

“I did not kill her. I did not dump her out there,” Beckley said. “She was my child.”

A supply truck driver, Beckley said he got up early the day White disappeared, ready to leave for work by 2:45 a.m. even though he wasn’t expected at work until 4 a.m. He said his car has chronic mechanical problems. He has to pull over and let it cool down frequently, he said, so he gives himself time to avoid traffic.

He said that on Friday, he heard White in the restroom while he was getting ready to leave, and her mother was at her overnight job. He said he walked up to the closed door, told her, “I am headed out,” and she replied, “All right.”

On Friday afternoon, after Beckley returned from work, the girl’s mother told him that “no one knows where Jorion is.” The high school junior had neither shown up to her classes at Bonnabel Magnet Academy High School nor come back home.

Beckley said he and Price drove to the police station and reported her missing. Officers told the couple to search through White’s things and see if anything was strange. All Beckley said he noticed might have been missing were some clothes she would typically wear to school.

White’s friends and family began distributing fliers and leaving posts on social media. Then, Beckley said, a family friend sent a text message on Sunday afternoon saying the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office had found a young woman’s body dumped in a drainage ditch along St. Rose Avenue, just north of some train tracks.

Everyone feared it was White. Word came that it was most likely her as Beckley and Price were inside their home on Phoenix Street late Sunday, and the large crowd of people awaiting news on the teen’s fate assembled outside.

From Beckley’s perspective, the heated altercation that followed resulted from the combination of complicated family dynamics and the fact that he is believed to be the last person to have spoken to White.

Beckley said some who were close to White never accepted that he and his girlfriend’s daughter could be as tight as they seemed.

Beckley also brought up the possibility that feelings were still frayed after a 2013 episode in which Price accused White’s father in Jefferson Parish civil court of “illegally relocating” his daughter to Texas. The girl had been grounded and not allowed to spend a scheduled holiday with her dad, court records said. The case was settled in 2014 with a joint custody agreement, court records show.

Beckley acknowledged that the detectives he spoke with were suspicious of him. He said they told him several of White’s relatives accused him of molesting her, something he also denies.

Beckley said a detective at one point claimed to have evidence implicating him, shackled his ankle to the floor and told him, “I want to get a good look at the killer of a 16-year-old girl.”

Beckley said he permitted investigators to swab one of his cheeks for DNA. He said he was offered the chance to undergo a lie-detector test and that he replied he would do so after a night’s rest.

“They told me (the test) depends on nerves and emotions,” Beckley said. “People were mad at me — I was sad, I was tired, my child was found dead. I’d take the polygraph after I calmed down.”

For some reason, Beckley said, the test never came up again. They released him after he asked for a lawyer, Beckley said.

He said a deputy told him he could be driven anywhere — except to the home he shared with Price, who didn’t want him there.

Crime scene technicians had combed through the home on at least two separate occasions since Monday.

Beckley said he refuses to speculate about what may have happened to White, saying only that the situation in his household was more complex than outsiders could understand.

He said he’s focusing on his job while adjusting to “sleeping under a bridge, near a railroad station or wherever I can lay my head for some shelter,” because he doesn’t have his car.

He turned down an offer to stay with a friend for fear of exposing that person to danger, he said.

He said it is difficult mourning White while separated from Price.

“I care about (Price) more than anyone could imagine,” Beckley said. “But, if I can never see her again for her sanity, so be it.”

Matt Sledge contributed to this report.