NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The family of Ciaya Whetstone, the University of New Orleans girl who was dropped off dead at New Orleans East Hospital, is demanding answers.
Family attorneys told WGNO News, the only way they have received any information is through news reports, not officials. They were not even given the name of the Uber driver that, according to police reports, dropped Whetstone off at the hospital the morning of Feb. 19 after a night of Mardi Gras celebration.
“She never met a stranger,” mother Miranda Ferrand said. “She always wanted to leave people better than she found them.”
According to attorneys, around 1:30 a.m. Whetstone decided to go home to check on her dog. That’s when she ordered an Uber.
It’s what happened between then and 6:30 a.m. when she was dropped off at the hospital that remains unclear to everyone.
“Mom calls Ciaya’s cell phone and it wasn’t Ciaya who answered,” South Carolina State Representative and Attorney Justin Bamberg said. “It was a nurse in the hospital and she then has to find out when a phone gets handed to a doctor ‘ma’am things are not good with your daughter.’”
“We can’t point any blame or point any fingers at this time because we do not know what happened,” Louisiana State Rep. Royce Duplessis said.
However, answers are not all they want. Rep. Bamberg is pushing for change, as well.
“What happened? Where’s the video? Why are there not camera systems in Ubers in 2022,” Bamberg asked. “If there was a camera system in that car mandated by Uber, we would know what conversations took place.”
“She was my best friend,” Ferrand said. “I brought her here to graduate, not to come pack her up, to bury her.”
Reports show police did try to talk to the Uber driver who allegedly dropped Whetstone at the hospital later that morning. When they showed up at his address, he wasn’t there.
Police said they have not named any suspects in the case. They did say they planned to speak with Ferrand Thursday afternoon.
The coroner expects the autopsy to take another month and a half to complete.
New Orleans East Hospital has issued the following statement regarding Ms. Whetstone:
New Orleans East Hospital extends its condolences to the family of Ciaya Jordan Whetstone during this difficult time. As of Feb. 21, 2022, the hospital turned over all requested information to the New Orleans Police Department to inform, and be used as appropriate, during their investigation into the cause of Ms. Whetstone’s death.New Orleans East Hospital Spokesperson
Uber released some information in relation to the incident:
According to Uber’s data, Ciaya’s trip on February 19, 2022, ended without incident and Law enforcement has submitted a request for information on the driver, vehicle information, and GPS trip data. Uber has released all information requested by law enforcement.
No parent should have to suffer the loss of a child, and our thoughts continue to be with Ciaya’s family. We understand the frustration of not having answers. We are seeking answers too, which is why we proactively reached out to law enforcement to offer assistance in their investigation as soon as we were made aware of Ciaya’s tragic death. We remain ready and willing to assist law enforcement in any way we can in their ongoing investigation. We have policies in place prohibiting post-trip contact and have removed the driver’s access to the app.Uber Spokesperson