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Quawan “Bobby” Charles

A preliminary autopsy on Quawan "Bobby" Charles, the 15-year-old found dead in Iberia Parish last week, suggests the cause of death was drowning.

Iberia Parish Coroner Dr. Carl Ditch on Friday afternoon released the preliminary autopsy results to the news media.

The cause of death, he wrote, was "likely drowning." The manner of Charles' death is pending toxicology results and a police investigation, Ditch wrote.

Muddy water was found in Charles' sinuses and lungs, which were hyperinflated, the autopsy states. The young man did not appear to have suffered injuries prior to his death, Ditch wrote. Injuries to his face, he wrote, likely occurred while in the water after he drowned.

Quawan 'Bobby' Charles' disappearance and death: What we know

Charles disappeared Oct. 30 from his father's home in the Baldwin community in St. Mary Parish. The family said they reported Charles missing that evening, but Baldwin Police dismissed their concerns at the time.

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After the family told law enforcement officials the teen was last seen with a 17-year-old and his mother, Iberia Parish Sheriff's deputies found Charles' body in a creek near Loreauville on either Nov. 2 or 3.

The family is seeking an independent autopsy based on the condition of the teen's body. The results were expected to be released Friday or Saturday.

Charles' family also has hired civil rights attorneys who questioned why the Baldwin Police Department did not issue an Amber Alert when the boy was reported missing.

The Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office is in charge of the investigation.

Charles' family, Stand Black and community members are expected to protest the Baldwin Police Department's handling of the matter at 2 p.m. Saturday at the police station, 16125 La. 182.


Email Claire Taylor at ctaylor@theadvocate.com.