Sheriff: Suspect named in murder of Harvey six-year old
Jay Vise Reporting
A man earlier named as a 'person of interest' in the disappearance and death of a Harvey girl is now wanted for her murder.
Police have issued an arrest warrant for 20-year-old Matthew Flugence, a man who was earlier named as a "person of interest" in the case.
Sheriff Newell Normand and other Parish officials today spoke about the discovery of the body of 6-year-old Ahlittia North overnight in a garbage bin near the family's apartment.
The child's mother and step-father last saw their child alive Friday night as they were going to bed. Saturday morning, the family called 911 when they awoke to find Ahlittia missing.
Normand said today that following the Saturday morning report that the child was missing, officers found a pool of blood near the apartment complex about seven doors down. That blood was submitted for DNA testing, which Normand noted takes some time.
During the investigation, the JPSO named Flugence as a 'person of interest.' Police say there was a warrant out for Flugence in connection with the alleged sexual battery of an 11-year-old.
Monday night, the DNA results on the blood revealed that blood was that of the missing girl. Later, officers found the child's body in a garbage bin.
The coroner said an autopsy showed that North was stabbed twice in the neck and twice in the abdomen.
Officials say there were "no obvious signs of sexual assault" on the girl, but were also awaiting the coroner's results.
Today, Normand said Flugence was the nephew of the step-father, and he had periodically baby-sat the child.
"We know Matthew Flugence was in and around those crime scenes" through the weekend, according to Normand.
After interviewing Flugence's brother Russell Flugence, "We are satisfed that Russell had information about this particular crime," Normand said, "and that he revealed to us some circumstances that may implicate Matthew in the murder of Ahlittia North. We are in the process of procuring arrests warrants for Matthew Flugence for murder."
The brother is in jail on a charge of obstruction of justice, according to police.
Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.