A four year old girl found dead earlier this month, suspect went missing

Earlier this month a four-year-old girl was found dead in a Louisiana hotel room. The girl with a 1-year-old and a teen was left with their mother’s boyfriend on October 3. The girl’s mother was out for several hours, to attend a party and came back around 5 am.

The girl has multiple signs of severe physical abuse and had a healed rib fracture, bruises and human marks. Jo’nyri Hawkins had vaginal trauma, claimed to be with any object or finger. According to the autopsy, Hawkins died from internal bleeding caused due to blunt trauma force to her lower body. Her liver and spleen were ruptured, officials believe that someone hit or kicked her.

Anfernee Steele, 21 was taking care of the children, when the mother returned, she found Hawkins unresponsive and called 911. Anfernee explained that he put Hawkins in bathtub and left her and made other children sleep. He said during his nap, he heard some noise from the bathroom and rushed. Steele admitted that he pressed Hawkins stomach in order to check if she had swallowed water and claimed that she was breathing fine while he dressed her.

Steele requested his girlfriend not to call 911, and also told teen relative “Remember what I told you”, when the teen entered the hospital. Steele was supposed to be reinterviewed by Law Enforcement but couldn’t find him. Steele’s mother and Hawkins said that they don’t know about his whereabouts.

Steele is charged with second degree cruelty to juveniles.