NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - A Louisiana man decapitated his disabled 7-year-old son and placed the boy’s head near the street so that his mother would see it when she came home, police said on Monday.
A volunteer firefighter was driving by the home in Thibodaux, about 60 miles south of New Orleans, when he spotted the head of young Jori Lirette and called police.
When they arrived, the boy’s father, Jeremiah Wright, tried to tell them it was a practical joke and that the head was really that of a CPR dummy, Thibodaux police spokesman Ricky Ross said.
Wright was arrested shortly afterward and charged with first-degree murder. He was being held on Monday in lieu of $5 million bond at the Lafourche Parish Detention Center.
Ross said Wright confessed to decapitating the child.
The boy’s mother, Jesslyn Lirette, arrived home later and found police investigating the crime scene. One of the officers, who knew the woman through their church, told her what had happened.
The boy had cerebral palsy and used a wheelchair. He also had a feeding tube and could not talk, Ross said.
Police found the rest of his body in a plastic bag nearby, Ross said.
Ross said it is not clear whether the boy was dead before he was decapitated. The body was taken to the Jefferson Parish coroner’s office for an autopsy that will determine the cause of death, he said.
Wright has no record of violent crime. He was arrested in 2007 on a marijuana charge and for theft on another occasion, Ross said.
In a statement read to the media during a news conference, Jesslyn Lirette called her son “a joy and the star of her life,” Ross said.
Edited by Karen Brooks and Tim Gaynor