Authorities have positively identified badly decomposed remains as those of a pregnant Baton Rouge, La., teacher who has been missing since last week, WAFB reports.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office used dental records to identify the remains of Lyntell Washington, 40, who was reported missing June 9 after her 3-year-old daughter was found alone in a parking lot near her vehicle, which had blood inside it, the station notes.
The autopsy indicated that Washington died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head.
Robert Javontie Marks, the assistant principal of the Brookstown Middle Magnet Academy, where Washington taught, was arrested in connection with her disappearance. Marks was charged with kidnapping and child desertion after Washington's daughter was found abandoned. Now that Washington's body has been positively identified, Marks is likely to face additional charges, including murder and feticide.
Marks is reportedly refusing to cooperate with investigators and has acquired a lawyer.
According to the report, police suspect that Marks, 39, killed Washington after becoming afraid that his wife would find out that the teacher was pregnant with his child. A probable cause report indicates that Washington's 3-year-old told investigators that “‘Mr. Robbie’ hurt her mother and was now sleeping.”
The child was apparently with her mother and Marks “when she heard a ‘bang’ and after the bang her mom was ‘shaking,’” according to the report. “She also stated that her mom’s in the lake and that it was dark outside when her mom got hurt.”
Authorities said that cellphone records show phones belonging to Marks and Washington were in the Ramah area around 9:45 p.m. on June 8. Both phones remained in the area for about 15 minutes before returning to Baton Rouge.
East Baton Rouge Superintendent Warren Drake released a statement Thursday after Washington's body was found:
We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Lyntell Washington and her unborn baby. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this time of sadness. We are grateful that now they may begin to find some closure. Ms. Washington was a treasured member of our team, and will be remembered for the impact she had on the many lives she touched through her work in our district. We will continue to offer support to Ms. Washington’s coworkers and students during this difficult time.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Schools system also confirmed that Marks has been placed on administrative leave.
Washington's daughter has been turned over to family members, the station notes.
Read more at WAFB.