GRETNA, LA (WVUE) - "That little boy was a sweet little boy," neighbor Adrelle Antoine said.
People who live in the 1400 block of Monroe Street are in shock. Their neighbor, 34-year-old Ardella Lorio, is accused of beating her nephew, 3-year-old Jamell Brown until the boy was unconscious. Police said Lorio brought the child to Ochsner Westbank Medical but left before investigators arrived.
"How you going to bring a baby to the hospital and drop him off? That looks bad on her right there," Antoine said.
"Statement at first indicated that the child had been swinging on an iron door that protected an exterior doorway," Gretna Deputy Police Chief Anthony Christiana.
At the hospital, police say the child had no pulse and wasn't breathing. After being revived, he was transported to Children's Hospital for surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.
"They found that the child had suffered several hematomas to the brain as well as some other injuries. The child, at that time, was on life support," Christiana said.
Jamell Brown died Wednesday night after doctors removed him from life support. Police say after questioning Lorio, she admitted to abusing her nephew.
"Apparently, some statements indicate that the child didn't want to settle down and the aunt wanted to watch a particular movie on TV, and it resulted in abuse being directed towards the child," Christiana said.
Investigators said Lorio, frustrated, told them she repeatedly slammed the child's head between the iron bars and the front door.
Sources tell FOX 8 that the boy had been in Lorio's care since April, when his mother was paralyzed in a shooting inside a restaurant on Canal Street.
Lorio remains jailed in Gretna on charges of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile, but those charges may be upgraded to second-degree murder once the autopsy is complete.