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Police say murder suspect streamed gruesome killing via Instagram Live

A suspect has been arrested in connection with a body that was found dead in the parking lot of a Baton Rouge business.
Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 11:55 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 19, 2022 at 9:50 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A suspect has been arrested in connection with a body that was found dead in the parking lot of a Baton Rouge business on Monday, April 18.

The Baton Rouge Police Department said Earl Lee Johnson Jr., 35, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Janice David, 34, whose body was found inside a vehicle.

Police confirmed the woman’s brutal death was broadcast on Instagram Live in a gruesome nearly 15-minute feed. They added Johnson was already in custody when they learned of the video. They noted he admitted to killing the woman.

“Very horrible, very horrible. She didn’t deserve to die like this…no one does,” said Terri Austin, who is the cousin and godmother of David.

The Baton Rouge Police Department walked the suspect arrested in connection with the murder of a woman and gave details of the crime.

“As everyone has seen on Facebook [Instagram] live, it’s a very gruesome, very evil act,” said Sgt. L’Jean McKneely.

Police sources said David’s hands were bound to the steering wheel and that she was found naked.

“I really thought you know when they say she died that it would have been a vehicle wreck or something like that, wouldn’t never dream that someone would do this to her,” added Austin.

Detectives said Johnson choked David, beat her, and stabbed her. They added it is believed the pair had been on a three or four-day drug binge together.

“She was caught up in a world I guess you could say that you know it was hard for her to get away from,” explained Austin.

Investigators said the suspect was injured in a police pursuit and was taken to a hospital.

According to investigators, the body was found in the parking lot of Sherwood Towers, an office building located on South Sherwood Forest Boulevard near Newcastle Avenue.

BRPD said officers responded to a call a little before 10 p.m. regarding the body of a dead female. The body was found inside a vehicle in the parking lot, authorities added. Officials also said Johnson tried to set the car on fire.

Deputies with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office were also on the scene.

Johnson’s rap sheet shows an arrest on multiple armed robbery charges in 2005.

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