Police have charged an assistant principal in Louisiana with murdering a pregnant teacher.
Authorities found the seven-month pregnant Lyntell Washington, 40, lying dead in a sugar cane field ditch in June, The Advocate reported.
Police began searching for Washington after finding her lost 3-year-old child who reportedly kept crying that “mom’s in the lake,” and “Mr. Robbie hurt her mom and was now sleeping,” according to KTLA.
Although motives are still being investigated, police said it is likely “Mr. Robbie” is assistant principal of Brookstown Magnet Honors Academy, 39-year-old Robert Marks.
The man was reportedly having an affair with the woman, who was a teacher at the middle school. According to a text message Washington wrote to Marks about “our unborn child,” it is likely he is the father of the now dead fetus, The Advocate noted.
Police said they believe Washington threatened to reveal the affair to the public, KTLA reported. Consequently, Marks allegedly shot Washington in the head, killing her. He has since been charged with first-degree murder and feticide. Before the body was found, he was already in jail for allegedly kidnapping and deserting the 3-year-old.
Authorities said Marks has been uncooperative.
“We continue to press him for information and still no answer and still no emotion,” Cpl. L’Jean McKneely, a Baton Rouge Police Department spokesman, said, according to The Advocate. “This is a heinous and senseless crime.”
Marks’ family denied the allegations.
“[Marks’] wife firmly stands behind [him], and she asserts his innocence, as does his entire family,” Lionel Lon Burns, Marks’ attorney, said.
Burns also called into question some of the evidence police said they have on Marks.
“Who was present with that child when any statement was made to law enforcement, and where is the memorialization of that statement?” Burns asked, adding that the shooting was a “tragedy” for the schoolchildren.
“The children are following this case, and the children are also victimized because they lost two leaders in that school,” he said.
Meanwhile, loved ones said they are heartbroken over the news.
“Ms. Washington was a treasured member of our team and will be remembered for the impact she had on the many lives she touched through her work in the district,” Warren Drake, superintendent of East Baton Rouge Parish schools, wrote in a statement. “We will continue to offer support to Ms. Washington’s coworkers and students during this difficult time.”
Sources: The Advocate, KTLA / Photo Credit: Bill Feig/The Advocate