5 yr. old Bossier girl's father & stepmom arrested in her death - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

5 yr. old Bossier girl's father & stepmom arrested in her death

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Wesley Dewayne Lowe (Source: Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office) Wesley Dewayne Lowe (Source: Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office)
Catherine Murray Lowe (Source: Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office) Catherine Murray Lowe (Source: Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office)
Anna Celeste Lowe (Source: Jaime Mercer (mother's) facebook page) Anna Celeste Lowe (Source: Jaime Mercer (mother's) facebook page)

BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) – The father and stepmom of the five-year-old girl who died Thursday have been arrested by Bossier Parish Sheriff's Deputies and now face a negligent homicide charge and drug charges.

Bossier Parish deputies said in a Friday afternoon news conference, 32-year-old Wesley Dewayne Lowe and his wife, 34-year-old Catherine Murray Lowe in connection to the death of five-year-old Anna Celeste Lowe.

Deputies say Anna Celeste was brought to Willis Knighton Pierremont Hospital by her biological father, (Wesley) and stepmom (Catherine).

The emergency room staff reportedly told Bossier Sheriff's investigators that the child arrived at the hospital at approximately 9:30 a.m. and tests that were conducted there, indicate the time of death to be approximately two hours prior to the child's arrival.

"And if she would have been brought home to me like she should have been months ago, she would still be here," said Jamie Mercer, the biological mother of Celeste who lives in West Monroe.

Mercer says if the joint custody agreement between her and her ex had been enforced, she would have had Celeste Wednesday night - and she'd still be alive.

That's when Celeste, according to the Bossier Coroner's Office, received blunt force trauma to her abdominal cavity.

"And I don't understand what has gone through their minds, why they didn't take her to the doctor," said Mercer.

When Wesley and his wife Catherine did take Celeste to Willis Knighton Pierremont on Thursday morning, authorities say Celeste had been dead for two hours.

Investigators believe an immediate trip to the hospital could have saved her life.

Bossier deputies also said during the Friday afternoon conference, that the emergency room staff said that Wesley and Catherine gave contradicting statements. Deputies add, that Anna Celeste has bruising and trauma over her entire body. 

Bossier Parish's Deputy Coroner, reports that 'rigor mortis' had begun taking effect and was present in the child's face.

It has been confirmed that the child died as a result of internal injuries and bleeding into the body cavity.

Upon interviewing Wesley and Catherine, Bossier deputies say the couple reports that the child's injuries and, vomiting and extreme abdominal pain was believed to have been a common stomach virus.

Deputies say as they continued to interview the stepmom, Catherine she told them that she allegedly called Wesley early Thursday morning expressing concern for the child's health, but according to deputies Catherine said that Wesley told her not to bring the child to the hospital, because then Child Protective Services would get involved and he had a prior incident with CPS in Nebraska.

"He shouldn't have worried about that, he should have been concerned about the care of his daughter and what was happening to her," said Mercer.

The allegations out of Nebraska, against Wesley, reportedly are related to a domestic abuse battery arrest.

Bossier Sheriff's said Celeste, did not go to school Thursday; instead they allege that, stepmom Catherine brought the child to her job.

Co-workers later told Bossier Sheriff's investigators that the child was a pale blue color and unable to walk or stand on her own.  Deputies say that the co-workers allegedly told Catherine to get the child some medical attention.

Deputies say instead, Catherine allegedly left work and drove back to Elm Grove, Louisiana before getting back to her home, Catherine allegedly stopped at a grocery store in Bossier City, left the dying child alone in the vehicle as she went inside to buy Gatorade.

Authorities say Catherine reportedly passed several hospitals on the way back to their Elm Grove home and made no attempt to get the child any medical help. Instead, as soon as Catherine arrived back home, deputies say Wesley, the biological father and Catherine drove Celeste back to W. K. Pierremont where she was pronounced dead.

Both Wesley and Catherine face charges of negligent homicide, possession of Oxycodone and Darvocet. Bossier Parish Undersheriff, Doyle Dempsey says that their investigation continues and those charges are expected to be upgraded.

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