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Mom who was last person to see Quawan Charles alive has a history of arrests

Quawan Charles, 15, was found dead in a sugar cane field on November 3

The white woman who, authorities believe, was the last person who saw black teenager Quawan Charles alive before his corpse was found in a Louisiana sugar-cane field four days later, has an extensive arrest record that includes drug-related charges as well as burglary and receiving stolen property, DailyMail.com has learned exclusively.

What’s more the woman, Janet Irvin, 37, temporarily lost the custody of two of her three children a decade ago after she was accused of domestic violence and neglect by her children’s father, according to court records in Lafayette, Lousianna.

The man, Joshua Romero, accused Irvin in a hand-written statement to a local family court of suffering from drug and alcohol ‘problems,’ stealing prescription medication and money, dropping their then-two-year-old son on the floor and allowing the child to drink her beer.

The revelations come as the family of 15-year-old Quawan Charles has been unable to talk to Irvin about what could have happened on October 30, when he walked away from Irvin’s trailer in the tiny town of Loreauville and into sugar fields.

‘As far as we’re concerned, Quawan was under her (Irvin’s) care,’ said Celina Charles, a spokeswoman for Quawan’s family. ‘We’d just like to know what happened.’

DailyMail.com visited the Chastant Trailer Park where Quawan was last seen alive and witnessed the crushing poverty of Louisiana’s agricultural countryside, with many of the trailers damaged, unstable, un-maintained or just too old to be comfortable.

Janet Irvin, 37, (pictured) temporarily lost the custody of two of her three children a decade ago after she was accused of domestic violence and neglect by her children's father, according to court records in Lafayette, Lousianna

Janet Irvin, 37, (pictured) temporarily lost the custody of two of her three children a decade ago after she was accused of domestic violence and neglect by her children’s father, according to court records in Lafayette, Lousianna

According to family spokeswoman Charles, the teenage boy was picked up by Irvin and her 17-year-old son Gavin (pictured) at home in the nearby town of Baldwin on the afternoon of October 30

According to family spokeswoman Charles, the teenage boy was picked up by Irvin and her 17-year-old son Gavin (pictured) at home in the nearby town of Baldwin on the afternoon of October 30

A few hours later, according to the autopsy, Quawan was dead in the drainage ditch which, at the time, had ankle-deep water (pictured), according to locals

A few hours later, according to the autopsy, Quawan was dead in the drainage ditch which, at the time, had ankle-deep water (pictured), according to locals

The revelations come as the family of 15-year-old Quawan Charles has been unable to talk to Irvin about what could have happened on October 30, when he walked away from Irvin's trailer in the tiny town of Loreauville and into sugar fields

The revelations come as the family of 15-year-old Quawan Charles has been unable to talk to Irvin about what could have happened on October 30, when he walked away from Irvin’s trailer in the tiny town of Loreauville and into sugar fields

 

One of the park’s residents, who asked not to be identified by name, told us where deputies with the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office found the teen’s lifeless body after ‘pinging’ his cellphone in the evening of November 3.

We walked to a vacant field in the back of an abandoned school, through a thin hedge made of brush and trees and traveled about 1,000 feet south alongside rows of 10-foot-tall sugar canes before arriving at a drainage ditch littered with a discarded purple cooler and other debris.

‘Nobody ever comes here,’ said the resident. ‘There’s no reason he should’ve been walking around here. Especially at night, you can’t see anything.’

According to family spokeswoman Charles, the teenage boy was picked up by Irvin and her 17-year-old son Gavin at home in the nearby town of Baldwin on the afternoon of October 30.

Quawan, she said, lived in a newly-built, comfortable suburban development in Youngsville, Lousiana., with his mother, Roxanne Nelson and her husband.

A week before he died, however, Quawan was sent to live at his dad’s house in Baldwin, 35 miles away.

At his new school, Quawan had been in contact with Gavin Irvin, 17, who had been in school with Quawan back in Youngsville and, like him, moved.

For an unknown reason, Celina Charles said, Gavin and his mother Janet picked up Quawan at his father’s home and drove to their rented trailer in Loreauville.

Gavin claimed Quawan left their trailer park home on his own and didn’t say where he was going. Janet has not spoken to his family. They have now been evicted from their trailer park home, The Washington Post reports.

Sheriff Tommy Romero said investigators have spoken with at least one witness who reportedly saw Charles before his death in the area where he was later found.

‘We have obtained and reviewed video evidence showing Quawan `Bobby´ Charles near that area,’ he said. ‘Video evidence indicates no other individuals present with Quawan `Bobby´ Charles or anyone else present for some time before, or after, he is seen on the recording.’

A few hours later, according to the autopsy, Quawan was dead in the drainage ditch which, at the time, had ankle-deep water, according to locals.

The St. Mary Coroner’s office determined early on that Quawan may have drowned. His lungs were filled with mud and water. 

When Quawan's relatives called in to identify the body and saw his face, they suspected there was more to his disappearance and death when they noticed parts of his lips and left cheek were missing while there were lacerations to his forehead

Quawan's family say that he is the victim of a hate crime that police are refusing to investigate

When Quawan’s relatives called in to identify the body and saw his face, they suspected there was more to his disappearance and death when they noticed parts of his lips and left cheek were missing while there were lacerations to his forehead. Quawan’s family say that he is the victim of a hate crime that police are refusing to investigate

According to court records, mother of three Janet Irvin has been arrested five times since 2002. In 2010, the father of her two youngest children told a court in a sworn statement asking for a restraining order and the custody of 5-year-old Kylie and 2-year-old Joshua that Irvin was abusive and violent

According to court records, mother of three Janet Irvin has been arrested five times since 2002. In 2010, the father of her two youngest children told a court in a sworn statement asking for a restraining order and the custody of 5-year-old Kylie and 2-year-old Joshua that Irvin was abusive and violent

DailyMail.com visited the Chastant Trailer Park where Quawan was last seen alive and witnessed the crushing poverty of Louisiana's agricultural countryside, with many of the trailers damaged, unstable, un-maintained or just too old to be comfortable

DailyMail.com visited the Chastant Trailer Park where Quawan was last seen alive and witnessed the crushing poverty of Louisiana’s agricultural countryside, with many of the trailers damaged, unstable, un-maintained or just too old to be comfortable

The medical examiner blamed the damage on 'aquatic animals' while the family compared photos of Quawan's face to that of Emmett Till, beaten and lynched by two white men in 1955 in Mississippi after he was falsely accused of whistling at a white woman

The medical examiner blamed the damage on ‘aquatic animals’ while the family compared photos of Quawan’s face to that of Emmett Till, beaten and lynched by two white men in 1955 in Mississippi after he was falsely accused of whistling at a white woman

The St. Mary Coroner's office determined early on that Quawan may have drowned. His lungs were filled with mud and water

 The St. Mary Coroner’s office determined early on that Quawan may have drowned. His lungs were filled with mud and water

But when Quawan’s relatives called in to identify the body and saw his face, they suspected there was more to his disappearance and death when  they noticed parts of his lips and left cheek were missing while there were lacerations to his forehead.

The medical examiner blamed the damage on ‘aquatic animals’ while the family compared photos of Quawan’s face to that of Emmett Till, beaten and lynched by two white men in 1955 in Mississippi after he was falsely accused of whistling at a white woman. 

Quawan’s family is waiting for the results of an independent autopsy. 

The teen is to be laid to rest on Saturday.

Early on, the sheriff’s office investigation centered on the Irvins’ trailer. It was searched but yielded no clue of what could have caused Quawan’s death.

A few days later, however, the Irvins and a man living with them were evicted from the trailer park by Buddy Chastant, a local mechanic whose family owns the trailer park.

‘Yeah, I evicted them,’ Chastant said as he fixed a client’s flat tire at his shop by Loreauville’s only traffic light. ‘They had until November 12 to leave. They didn’t flee. They were told to leave. I have no idea where they went. They weren’t welcome here but it had nothing to do with the death of the young man.’

While Chastant declined to discuss the reasons for the eviction at first, he eventually admitted he’d received reports of drug activity at the trailer and ‘wanted no part of it.’

Like in rural towns everywhere where boredom and desperation form a combustive combination, opioids and crime have become the scourge of small-town Louisiana.

According to court records, mother of three Janet Irvin has been arrested five times since 2002.

She has a date with a local criminal court judge in December to face charges of possession of a synthetic cannabinoid and possession of drug paraphernalia dating to June 2019.

In February 2019, she was charged with felony possession of hydrocodone after a traffic stop by a Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, according to court records. 

Irvin's dad, Alvin Irvin (pictured), told DailyMail.com he doesn't know where his daughter is and hasn't spoken to her in three months. He hinted that no one else in their family has contacts with Janet. 'I have no idea what happened with that kid (Quawan), but whatever's happening, she brought that on herself,' Alvin said

Irvin’s dad, Alvin Irvin (pictured), told DailyMail.com he doesn’t know where his daughter is and hasn’t spoken to her in three months. He hinted that no one else in their family has contacts with Janet. ‘I have no idea what happened with that kid (Quawan), but whatever’s happening, she brought that on herself,’ Alvin said

For an unknown reason, Quawan's mother Celina Charles (pictured) said, Gavin and his mother Janet picked up Quawan at his father's home and drove to their rented trailer in Loreauville

For an unknown reason, Quawan’s mother Celina Charles (pictured) said, Gavin and his mother Janet picked up Quawan at his father’s home and drove to their rented trailer in Loreauville

A few days later, however, the Irvins and a man living with them were evicted from the trailer park by Buddy Chastant, a local mechanic whose family owns the trailer park. 'Yeah, I evicted them,' Chastant said as he fixed a client's flat tire at his shop by Loreauville's only traffic light

A few days later, however, the Irvins and a man living with them were evicted from the trailer park by Buddy Chastant, a local mechanic whose family owns the trailer park. ‘Yeah, I evicted them,’ Chastant said as he fixed a client’s flat tire at his shop by Loreauville’s only traffic light

The case was dismissed when prosecutors admitted the reason for the search of her vehicle by deputies, sparked by allegations that the deputies smelled marijuana inside the vehicle, ‘was not supported by facts.’

In July 2011, Irvin was charged with simple burglary and criminal trespass. She took a plea deal and ended up on one year’s probation 

She failed, however, to appear in a follow-up hearing and was re-arrested in 2013 for violation of probation, according to public records. She served two days at the local jail.

In 2006, Irvin was charged with possession of stolen goods and theft by fraud. She took another deal from prosecutors, and received six months’ probation.

In 2002, Janet Irvin was charged with possession of alcohol by a minor – she was 19 – and the case was dismissed after she paid a $116.50-fine.

In family court, too, allegations have been made against the last person believed to have seen Quawan alive.

In 2010, the father of her two youngest children told a court in a sworn statement asking for a restraining order and the custody of 5-year-old Kylie and 2-year-old Joshua that Irvin was abusive and violent.

‘I want her and her drug and alcohol problems away from me and my kids,’ electrician Joshua Romero wrote at the time in a statement. 

‘She’s dropping my son on the floor, allowing my kids to play in the street, allowing my 2-year-old to drink out of her beer, stealing my prescription medication, my money, taking my truck in the middle of the night while we are asleep.’

In time, the judge did approve a restraining order that mandated Irvin to stay at least 100 feet from Romero’s home and the electric company he worked for.

The order was rescinded in 2017 when Irvin was able to prove she had straightened out.

Irvin’s dad, Alvin Irvin, told DailyMail.com he doesn’t know where his daughter is and hasn’t spoken to her in three months. He hinted that no one else in their family has contacts with Janet.

‘I have no idea what happened with that kid (Quawan), but whatever’s happening, she brought that on herself,’ Alvin said.


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