BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A shocking discovery made in Iberville Parish could be the heartbreaking answer in the case of a missing Baton Rouge teacher. One woman said she has lost hope of ever seeing her friend alive.
Dr. Tamiara Wade fought back tears as she talked about Lyntell Washington, her former coworker and close friend. Like so many who knew Washington, Wade has spent long days anxiously waiting for news of what happened to the teacher.
"I found myself dialing her number, hoping that maybe she would answer the phone," Wade said.
Washington, at 7 months pregnant, disappeared nearly a week ago. Her 3-year-old daughter was found alone in a parking lot Thursday morning. The young girl's testimony and other evidence sent police to Robert Marks, an assistant principal at Washington's school.
Investigators said the two were involved and that Marks fathered her unborn child. Marks was arrested Friday for kidnapping and child desertion.
Now, a grim discovery has all but crushed any hope of finding Washington alive and could mean more charges for Marks.
On Tuesday, a woman's body was discovered near a cane field in Iberville Parish near Rosedale, not far from where authorities searched for the missing mom a few days earlier. DNA and an autopsy will identify the victim, but officials believe there is a strong chance that name will be Lyntell Washington. If so, District Attorney Hillar Moore explained Marks will likely face murder and feticide charges.
"Obviously this would have to be presented to a grand jury by law, and we would make some decisions as to what our formal charging decision would be. I would anticipate now 1st degree murder and feticide," Moore said.
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The news saddened and sickened Wade. She described Washington as "a beautiful soul" and a talented teacher whom she quickly befriended when they two worked together at a Baton Rouge school.
Wade said she was the first person to hear that Washington was taking a job at Brookstown Middle Magnet. She said Washington was excited for the opportunity, and now, she is wondering if that job ultimately led to a dark ending.
"There's a part of me that can't help but to wonder, had she not accepted the position, would my friend still be here today?"