BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The memories remain, but so does the mystery. Long gone are the breakfasts shared over the morning paper. That has been replaced with a desire to find a killer.
"He wasn't just my brother, he was my best friend." That's Donnell Davis talking about his younger brother, Laross. It's been just over two years since he died, but it's not a death the family can wrap their head around. It was the morning of July 14, 2014 and the fire department had been called out to a fire along Eaton Street near Choctaw Drive.
"They responded to the house to put out a fire. In doing that, they came across the body of Laross Davis inside the house," says Det. Bryan Ballard with the Baton Rouge Police Department. As the investigation began, it quickly became apparent that he did not die in the fire, he had been shot. Just a half dozen blocks away, his mother was waiting for him outside of her house.
"That morning, like every morning, I'm sitting on my porch waiting on Laross to come bye. He would always come bye and bring me breakfast," says Ethel Leagard. Breakfast and a paper, every morning. Well, not anymore.
As investigators combed through the scene, they quickly learned they had another one. Laross' car had been stolen, and somebody had set it on fire under a carport about a mile away on Linden Street. That carport has since been fixed but what can't be fixed is everything that's been done to this family. Turns out, this wasn't the first time Laross had been targeted.
"The first night he moved in, they robbed him," said his mother.
He'd only lived there a short while, but was a lifelong resident of the area, born and raised. So too was his great aunt, born and raised in the neighborhood. Vivian Washington has seen a lot in her time, but nothing like this.
"So much killing. It's just awful. Every morning you wake up and on the news somebody has been shot. I never witnessed that much killing in my lifetime," she says.
What she is hoping for now is that this lifelong neighborhood of hers will step up. Not just to help solve this murder, but to stop others from ever happening at all.
Anyone with information about this case that could help investigators is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.