Death of 2-year-old found buried near Huey P. Long bridge ruled homicide

Photos of Onterio Thompson and Gabrielle Whittington courtesy the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office

Photos of Onterio Thompson and Gabrielle Whittington courtesy the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office

ELMWOOD, La. (WGNO) – The death of a toddler whose body was found buried in a plastic garbage bag near the Huey P. Long bridge has been ruled a homicide.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the death of 2-year-old Timothy Thompson IV is a homicide, but investigators have not been able to pin down the exact cause of death because the toddler’s body was so decomposed when found.

The boy’s body was found July 6 in a plastic garbage bag on the east bank of the Mississippi River levee near the Huey P. Long Bridge.

The child’s grandmother called the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office because she hadn’t seen him for weeks. The investigation led deputies to a grave on the levee.

The parents, Onterio Thompson and Gabrielle Whittington, were arrested on charges of unlawful disposal of human remains and obstruction of justice.

Whittington was released July 27 on a $10,000 bond. Thompson was released from Jefferson Parish July 28, but he’s being held in St. Tammany Parish on unrelated charges.

Col. John Fortunato with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office told Nola.com that the sheriff’s office is refocusing the investigation as a homicide.

There’s no word yet on whether charges will be upgraded for the child’s parents.