UPDATE 12/23/14 – The cause of death of Jassiah has been ruled accidental from drowning and hypothermia. The hole that Jassiah fell into was an old water pump station belonging to the city.
When city workers showed up they had to drain the water out of the hole before they could retrieve Jassiah’s body. Afterwards, the Department of Public Works placed barricades around the hole, and the police put up yellow caution tape. On Tuesday, several pieces of plywood were placed over the hole. Someone also put a stuffed teddy bear on the plywood.
“It was just mud where you guys found my nephew, it was mud sitting on top of it,” Lesly Reed, Jassiah’s auntie told reporters late Monday night. “Basically, it looked like a puddle of mud. No barricades, nothing was around it.”
The police officer that located Jassiah almost fell into the hole himself, but was able to grab the fence to stop his fall.
Evidently, the city dug the hole to put in a pipe, and then left the pipe uncovered. This is an assumption at this time, as the city could have put a top on the pipe, but maybe someone else had removed it.
“It was an accident and negligence on the city’s behalf,” Reed said. “You know kids are in the area. If you inserted a pipe, why didn’t they have something around it to tell the kids in neighborhood, ‘do not go that way, I mean that’s crazy.”
Sadly, the body of Jassiah Clark has been found in a hole about 25 feet from where he lived. A police officer found him around 7:30 p.m. when he was searching the area again. This is all the info for now.
On Monday, the search for a missing 4-year-old boy continues.
Jassiah Clark was last seen early Saturday evening near his home on Robertson Avenue in Baton Rouge. As the sun was going down family members and friends walked the neighborhood looking for him. The police were called in and now the FBI are part of the search for Jassiah.
“I just want him to come home,” said Brittni Clark, Jassiah’s mother.
Just a month before, Jassiah witnessed his uncle and his mother’s boyfriend fighting on the front lawn of their home. Lester Reed, 32, stabbed 19-year-old Tevin Crump, who then shot Reed in the chest outside a home on Washington Court just days before Thanksgiving, reports The Times-Picayune. Crump was Brittni Clark’s boyfriend. They both died at the hospital.
Family members stated that Jassiah was upset and would cry for his uncle and said that he missed him.
Clark was in jail during the incident because she and another woman who worked as a caretaker for an elderly man were accused of stealing $7,000 from his account.
Authorities are trying to retrace Jassiah’s steps. Clark said he was playing close to their home around 12:30 p.m., and other family members said he was playing with boys in the street several hours later. Those boys said that Jassiah wandered alone on Robertson Avenue heading north and then made a left on Denham Street. A neighbor saw Jassiah walking alone near a canal that runs along Robertson Avenue.
Lesly Reed, Jassiah auntie, said the last time she saw him was Saturday around 5:30 p.m. Reed says she drove to Jassiah home to visit his mother, Brittni Dionne Clark.
Jassiah was wearing Levi shorts, a Hornets jacket and Adidas tennis shoes with black, red and blue on them. He is 3 feet tall and weighs 49 pounds.
If you see him, please call the Baton Rouge Police Department at 225-389-3853.