BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - An elderly woman was found dead inside her home on Lone Oak Drive Wednesday afternoon.
Baton Rouge Police officials say the woman was beaten to death and suffered significant trauma to the head. The victim has been identified as Lovie Variste, 76.
The incident happened around 1:30 p.m. in the 3300 block of Lone Oak Drive at the Lone Oak Apartments. Eric Romell Augustus, 49, has been charged with first-degree murder in this case.
According to the police report, Augustus said he and Variste had been in a relationship for about five months and had been living together for most of that time. Augustus also reportedly said he left the home after beating Variste and returned several hours later before calling emergency officials for help.
BRPD officials say Augustus admitted to beating Variste with various objects after smoking Mojo. Several wooden objects covered in blood were found in the home and near Variste's body, officials say.
It should be noted Augustus has been arrested previously on numerous drug and weapon charges. He has also been arrested for domestic abuse battery four times in the last decade.
Neighbors said Variste was a beloved resident at the complex who enjoyed looking after children.
"It's just shocking to me, because who would have thought this would have ever happened to her. She was just too sweet, she didn't even deserve that," Audrey Vicks said. "Sometimes she'll walk to the bus stop and wait on the kids to get off the bus, or she'll just be sitting in her window just watching the kids play."
An autopsy on Variste is scheduled for Thursday. The investigation is ongoing.
Variste's killing marks the third domestic homicide in Baton Rouge in five days.
On Saturday, Louis Howard allegedly stabbed and shot his girlfriend Bianca Queen. She died inside their home on Annette Street.
On Sunday, Gezeria Bell was arrested for allegedly shooting and killing her boyfriend Terrance Roddy after an argument.