Sheriff: Suspect admits to murder of Ahlittia North
Jay Vise Reporting
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand today said the suspect apprehended last night in the murder of Ahlittia North has admitted to the crime.
Speaking to reporters at a midday news conference, Normand said his officers flooded a Westwego neighborhood last night after getting 911 calls from residents who spotted Matthew Flugence.
According to Normand, a subject fitting the description of Flugence was spotted in the area of Victory Drive and the Westbank Expressway in Westwego.
Fortunato says Flugence was taken into custody without incident, and at the time of his apprehension, Flugence was found to be armed with a knife.
We began interviewing Matthew through the evening, and he admitted to the murder of Ahlittia North," Normand said. "We had an extensive interview with him, where he confirmed many of the details surrounding this happenstance that we already knew about."
Normand declined to answer questions about a possible motive in the murder.
Flugence faces a charge of First Degree Murder and a separate charge related to the alleged sex assault of an 11-year-old girl.
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.
In a Tuesday update, the Sheriff said 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.
Family members say Flugence was the nephew of the step-father, and he had periodically baby-sat the child.
Matthew Flugence's brother Russell in jail on a charge of obstruction of justice in the case, according to police.