Suspect arrested in killing of girlfriend, toddler in Chauvin

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by WWLTV.com

wwltv.com

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 4:45 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 7 at 8:10 PM

CHAUVIN, La. -- Terrebonne Sheriff's Office deputies have arrested a man whom officials say killed his girlfriend and their 2-year-old son, according to authorities.

Sheriff Vernon Bourgeois said deputies found the two victims dead around 1:20 p.m. Thursday inside of a home in the 4800 block of La. 56 in Chauvin. Bourgeois said the suspect, 33-year-old Tyari Smith, had already left the scene.

Bourgeois identified Marie Elizabeth Chavez, 27, as the slain girlfriend and 2-year-old Tyari Smith Jr. as the son. He said Chavez and Tyari Smith Sr. have three children together, and the two other children, ages 5 and 7, were at school during the shooting.

"I think he got himself into a little trouble and he was having a hard time coping and dealing with this situation, and I guess it just came to this,” said Alisha Price, a neighbor. “We didn’t see it coming, no. He was quiet. Troubled. I guess just confused. Three kids and having a difficult time taking care of them."

Deputies found Tyari Smith Sr.'s vehicle in the 100 block of St. Matt St. in Montegut. A Terrebonne Parish SWAT team entered the home where the vehicle was parked, Bourgeois said, and were able to arrest Smith without incident. Bourgeois said they booked him on first-degree murder charges.

"Here in our community our average rate of homicides is 2.7 for awhile, for the last 10 years, and we have two in one day," Bourgeois said. "That doesn’t sit well for me, for sure."

According to detectives, Chavez was originally from California and during this week she had said she was having trouble with her boyfriend, saying she was planning to move back to California.

If you know anything about this shooting, call the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office detective bureau at (985) 876-2500.

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