Every so often a crime is committed which is so horrifying that one pines for the days of “eye for an eye” justice, where the penalty for the guilty perpetrator is equally as terrible as the horror inflicted upon the victim.
Such is the case for a tragic story out of Natchitoches, Louisiana, where a woman is alleged to have kidnapped a baby, set the boy on fire and left him to burn to death on train tracks.
Six-month-old Levi Cole Ellerbe was kidnapped and murdered on July 17 after two people attacked the baby’s mother at her trailer park home and sprayed her in the face with what was believed to be mace, forcing her to temporarily flee.
Unfortunately, mother Hannah Barker discovered upon her rapid return that her baby boy had been kidnapped during her brief absence.
A search for the missing child was immediately launched but sadly ended only 90 minutes later when the baby was found following reports of a fire started along a nearby set of railroad tracks.
The badly burned baby was rushed to a nearby hospital but ultimately succumbed to the horrific injuries.
Young Levi was laid to rest on Friday and was remembered fondly by his mother and three older sisters, among other extended family members and friends of the family. “Levi was the happiest baby who always had a big smile,” read Levi’s obituary. “We will always remember him as our little “Chunky Monkey.”
On Monday, the Natchitoches Police Department announced the arrest of 25-year-old Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith, who has been charged with first-degree murder.
It is unclear at this time how Smith and Barker personally knew each other, but they were reported to be “friends” on Facebook.
“This individual had a relationship with the family and certainly had access to the child, so we’re still vetting through those things,” said Louisiana State Fire Marshal Butch Browning. “It wasn’t a random act, which is important for us to put out.”
It is also unclear if the second individual suspected of being involved in the initial attack on Barker has been identified. But Browning said he expects there will be other arrests made soon.
This is the sort of crime that fills the parents of young children with absolute dread, and many believe deep down that the perpetrator of such crimes should be sentenced to suffer similarly, if found guilty.
Of course, we don’t have “eye for an eye” justice in this nation, so we can only hope and pray that the person responsible for the kidnapping and murder of this beautiful baby boy will be found guilty and locked away for the rest of their miserable lives.