POSTED: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 3:48pm
UPDATED: Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 10:38am
HARVEY, LA (NBC33) — Matthew Flugence is officially being charged as the primary suspect for the murder of his 6-year-old family member Ahlittia North, officials said in a press conference Tuesday.
During the press conference Sheriff Newell Normad explained that the key piece of evidence tying Flugence to the crime came on Tuesday, July 16 during an interview with his brother, Russell Flugence.
“As a result of the interview, we are satisfied that Russell had information that he did not come forward with and he revealed to us some circumstances that may implicate Matthew in the murder of Ahlittia North,” he said.
Russell Flugence has been arrested for Obstruction of Justice. Investigators are looking for Matthew. They already have a warrant out for his arrest for the sexual battery of an 11-year-old girl.
“We know as the result of multiple interviews that Matthew was in and around those crime scenes multiple times Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” Sheriff Newell said.
Sheriff Newell noted that Flugence, who is the nephew of Ahillitia’s stepfather, had spent time alone with the children in the past.
“Matthew had periodically babysat the girl,” he said.
After Ahillitia was reported missing at roughly 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 13, investigators learned that her toothbrush was among some items missing from the home. There was no forced entry into the home. They began searching nearby areas and identified multiple potential crime scenes.
“About 7 fourplexes down, in the back of 2836 Destrahan Ave, on that first day we were out there, we found a pool of blood,” Sheriff Newell noted.
The big break in the investigation came at roughly 10:00 p.m. on Monday, July 15 after DNA results confirmed that the pool of blood belonged to Ahillitia.
“At that point we went back to the area and continued to search,” Sheriff Newell said.
Investigators eventually found the Ahillitia in a garbage can. She was stuffed inside of a garbage bag.
“That particular garbage can, we know for a fact that on Saturday and Sunday, that garbage can had been searched,” Sheriff Newell said.
The coroner confirmed that Ahillitia’s died from from two “very aggressive stab wounds to the neck.” Additionally she had two stab wounds to her abdomen and various bruising all over her body.
Investigators note there was decomposition of the body, suggesting her death had taken place in the days prior to when it was found. They also note she was wearing the same clothes she was seen wearing on surveillance footage at a local grocery store in the hours prior to her disappearance.
“We still, and I remind you, have not gotten to a conclusion in this matter,” Sheriff Newell noted. “We feel like we’ve accomplished a lot in a short period of time.”
At this point the primary concern is locating Matthew Flugence. If you know anything regarding his whereabouts, call your local law enforcement agency.
“This case has another 2 hours of evidence of curve balls, twists and turns that I could tell you about,” Sheriff Newell noted.