Timothy Thompson, a toddler whose body was discovered in a plastic garbage bag near the Huey P. Long Bridge of the Mississippi River, has been determined as a homicide, WGNO is reporting. The 2-year-old’s body was found July 6 in a shallow grave. As a result of being buried for two weeks, his body was badly decomposed.
The boy’s grandmother, Laverne Thompson, who had taken care of “Baby Tim” and his 3-year-old sister for 12 months before they returned home to their parents, grew suspicious when she heard nothing from her grandson for weeks and did not see any recent pictures on social media.
Thompson alerted authorities who investigated his disappearance. His father, Onterio Thompson Sr., 21, was the one who led law enforcement to the shallow grave alongside the east bank Mississippi River. The mother, Gabrielle Whittington, also 21, and father were arrested on charges of obstruction of justice and unlawful disposal of human remains on July 7.
Whittington was freed July 27 on a $10,000 bond. Thompson was released the following day but later rearrested for contempt of court over charges that included possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana.
Col. John Fortunato, the spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sherriff’s Office, said that they were now refocusing their investigations since deeming Timothy Thompson’s death a homicide and bringing a slew of different charges against the parents of the toddler.
“Now that the coroner’s office has ruled the death a homicide, we will refocus our attention in looking at the matter as a homicide.”
The coroner, Dr. Gerry Cvitanovich, said pathological findings came after a thorough examination of the toddler’s body, which was made difficult by the advanced stage of decomposition. However, the coroner confirmed it was a homicide of “undetermined origin.”
Authorities still do not have any idea how Timothy died, but Cvitanovich said experienced forensic pathologists Dr. Dana Trosclair and Dr. Susan Garcia validated his claims.
“These pathologists trained for many, many years. Based on the circumstances, the history and their physical exam, they put all of those things together to come up with a determination cause and manner, and they’ve come up with homicide.”
A Jefferson Parish Judge granted custody of Baby Tim’s surviving siblings to Laverne Thompson, ages 3, 4, and 10-month-old. The 44-year-old grandmother said it was not easy starting all over with children after successfully raising her teenage daughters. However, she embraced the opportunity with open arms.
“I just want them to be children. I want to provide a safe and loving home for them. I’m willing to do what I have to do to make sure they are happy.”
As investigators work to establish the cause of Timothy Thompson’s death, Laverne and her husband want to give the young child a proper burial but admit that they are cash-strapped with extra mouths to feed.
“We just don’t have the money to pay for a beautiful funeral for him. We need to cover the costs of diapers, clothing food and other necessities for the three children.”
Laverne Thompson remembers her grandson with tears in her eyes and joy in her heart that he was in heaven.
“He was just so jolly. He was my jolly rancher. He would give you the biggest hugs. He was like an angel that God sent just to put a smile on people’s faces the little time that he was here.”
An online fundraising account has been opened to help the Thompson family cover burial costs for Timothy, and part of the proceeds will also go towards the upkeep of his three surviving siblings.
May the sweet soul of Timothy Thompson IV rest in perfect peace.
[Photo by iStock]