Quawan "Bobby" Charles

The preliminary report of an independent autopsy in the death of Quawan "Bobby" Charles has confirmed the Iberia Parish Coroner's finding that the Baldwin teen likely died from drowning.

American Forensics, based in Mesquite, Texas, performed the second autopsy at the request of Charles' family members. During a rally last week, family members and civil rights organizers decried the autopsy report of Iberia Parish Coroner Carl Ditch, scoffing at his preliminary determination that Charles had likely drowned.

The second report also found no injury or trauma prior to the teen's death, with all visible damage to Charles' face and lips occurring after his death.

Not only did the American Forensics report come to the same general conclusion as Ditch, the second report cited the previous autopsy as "thorough."

Both autopsy reports are preliminary, with toxicology results still pending. Neither report cited a manner of death pending further test results.

A photo of Charles’ body has been circulated on social media sites, sometimes paired with a photo of civil rights martyr Emmett Till, making a comparison between the injuries to the two bodies.

Charles’ body was found outside Loreauville on the evening of Nov. 3. According to family members, he had been reported missing days earlier, on Oct. 30, from his home in Baldwin. Although his family reported him missing to both the Baldwin Police and St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office on Oct. 30, no action was taken until the family spoke to the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 3.

Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at dwayne.fatherree@daily-iberian.com.

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