PICAYUNE, MISSISSIPPI: A Louisiana couple have been arrested and charged after DNA technology revealed they allegedly suffocated a newborn baby to death and threw him in a dumpster behind a restaurant in Picayune, Mississippi.
Andrew K Carriere II and Inga Johansen Carriere, both 50, have been charged with first-degree murder after advanced DNA technology helped solve a cold case from 1992 and identify the couple as the parents biological of the child. The baby was reportedly discovered by a farmer on April 15, 1992, while rummaging through dumpsters behind a pizzeria to find food for his animals.
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Choked to death
The infant’s body was reportedly wrapped in a towel and stuffed into a garbage bag with rubbish. “I moved the towel and said, ‘Oh my god! It’s a little doll,” the farmer, identified as Hayward Fleming, told WWL-TV in 1992. “Then I said it wasn’t a doll. It is human flesh. And it made me sick. I just got out and had my truck driven home and called the authorities,” he added.
An autopsy conducted by the Mississippi State Medical Examiner’s Office found the baby was about three weeks premature and lived only minutes before being choked to death. Authorities determined the cause of death to be perinatal asphyxia due to suffocation and the case was dismissed as a homicide. However, investigators could not identify any suspects at the time and the case went cold. It wasn’t reopened until 2021 after an agent from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation offered to help with a grant that would fund forensic genetic testing of the evidence.
Advanced DNA technology
Modern DNA technology has made it possible to zero in on the infant’s parents, who have been identified as the Quarries, officials said. The duo would have lived in Louisiana at the time of the macabre discovery. “With the help of state-of-the-art technology, DNA profiles and fingerprints were developed from the preserved evidence. Through investigative means, detectives were able to identify the child’s parents as Andrew Carriere, 50, and Inga Johansen Carriere, 50, who were living in Louisiana at the time of death,” police said in a statement. a statement.
Warrants for her arrest were obtained soon after, and Inga was arrested on February 28 at her residence in Avondale, Louisiana. A few days later, Carriere was arrested in Galliano, Louisiana on March 9. Both suspects were incarcerated at Jefferson Parish Correctional Center and held without bail pending extradition to Mississippi. Investigators believe the couple killed the baby in Louisiana and crossed state lines to dispose of her remains, leaving many wondering if a federal case could be brought against the Careers.
The accused “believed that the child was stillborn”
Paul Fleming, a longtime Jefferson Parish public defender representing Inga, said there was “evidence to show that my client believed the child was stillborn, which would not be a newborn, a baby or infant, nor would it be a crime,” per WDSU. Fleming said his office is in the preliminary stages of its own investigation. “What we have determined so far would tend to exonerate our client. We do not believe that she had any culpable knowledge of this incident which occurred over 30 years ago,” he said. he adds.
Meanwhile, Freddy Drennan, who was Picayune’s police chief when the child’s remains were found, said he hadn’t forgotten about the case. “Like I tell people, in law enforcement, you don’t work on these cases. You live them,” Drennan told WWL-TV, adding, “And you know, that’s one of those cases that I had hoped all along that we would be able to put an end to.”