The grieving family of Quawan Charles is calling for the arrest of the dead teenager’s friend’s mother, who is the last adult to have reportedly seen him alive, after leaked audio indicates she regrets not informing police that the boy had left her home.
The newly leaked audio obtained by CBS News implicates Janet Irvin in Charles’ death, lawyers for the boy’s family say.
The recorded conversation between Irvin and a private investigator appears to show the Louisiana mother lamenting over not immediately tipping off authorities after her son’s 15-year-old friend left their home on Oct. 30.
“Yes, I should have called the cops,” Irvin told the private investigator. “I should have went further.”
Surveillance footage captured Irvin picking Charles up at his family home the day he disappeared. However, the dead teen’s family has maintained they hadn’t given permission for Irving to take Charles from the home. His body turned up in a sugarcane field in Iberia Parish on Nov. 3, according to authorities.
The audio also revealed that Charles had possibly used drugs shortly before his death.
Irvin’s son, Gavin, who was Charles’ friend, also told the private investigator in a separate conversation that the two teens had smoked marijuana together shortly before Charles departed their home.
“Did he smoke something, or did he, I mean…?” the private investigator asked.
“Yeah, he smoked some weed,” Gavin Irvin replied. “That was it."
Charles’ family attorneys said Irving could now face a “slew of charges,” according to CBS News.
“She knew something was wrong and did nothing,” attorney Ronald Haley said. “It speaks volumes as to what her involvement was in this case.”
No arrests have been made and detectives are waiting on toxicology results.
“We think the toxicology report is going to vindicate what we’re saying today,” said Chase Trichel, another family lawyer. “Janet Irvin could be charged with delinquency to minors, serving minors drugs.”
Two separate autopsies suggested that Charles died by drowning. The teenager was also seen in the vicinity of where his body was recovered shortly before his death, according to video footage and an eyewitness, investigators said.
The family, who are pointing to a graphic post-mortem image of Charles’ disfigured face, are suspicious the teenager drowned. One family member said it looked as if he’d been “tortured,” ABC News reported.
"On the left side of his face there is like a knot," Celina Chase, the teen's cousin, told the outlet. "On the right side, there's, like, an incision, and then around his mouth area, like the majority of his lips are gone — like he has been tortured."
Relatives also criticized police for not taking the case seriously, accusing local authorities of racial bias after investigators allegedly brushed off concerns that the teen may be missing.
"A child was taken from, or last taken from, his parents' home without permission, and they report it to the police, and that's somehow not priority No. 1," Haley previously told PEOPLE.com. "That's mind-boggling to me."
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