Tonika Willoughby.jpg

Tonika Willoughby

The death this week in Labadieville of a one-year-old child, whose mother was arrested on a count of first-degree murder, was caused by "a multitude of injuries and deficiencies," said an Assumption Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman.

The Sheriff's Office is awaiting a more detailed autopsy report from the Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office, said Lonny Cavalier, Sheriff's Office public information officer, on Thursday. 

The Sheriff's Office received a 911 call Monday from an apartment at 2968 La. 1 in Labadieville, about an unresponsive child there, Cavalier said.

When deputies arrived, the child's father and mother, Tonika Willoughby, were at the apartment, said Cavalier, who said he didn't know which parent made the 911 call.  

The child was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead after his arrival there.

A preliminary autopsy report by the Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office said the child died of neglect and abuse.

After interviewing potential witnesses and making an investigation, deputies arrested Willoughby on Tuesday and booked her into the Assumption Parish jail on a count of first-degree murder, the Sheriff's Office said.

Two other children of Willoughby's were removed from the family residence by the state Department of Children and Family Services and relocated to the care of other people.

The case remains under investigation, Cavalier said. 


Email Ellyn Couvillion at ecouvillion@theadvocate.com.