Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
THIBODAUX, La. - Thibodaux Police say the man accused of killing a 7-year-old special needs child is the boy's biological father.
Police have been investigating the gruesome murder of Jori Lirette, who was found decapitated outside his home in the 400 block of West 7th street in Thibodaux.
Police said was a special needs child confined to a wheelchair. His horrific murder Sunday sent shock waves through his quiet neighborhood.
Police have charged Jeremiah Wright,30, with first degree murder in Lirette's death. They said Wright confessed to the killing.
According to police, Wright decapitated Lirette, and dismembered his body over the home's kitchen sink. Police say a passerby saw Lirette's head on the sidewalk outside the family's home Sunday afternoon.. It was near a garbage bag with the child's dismembered body. The passerby called police, who arrived a minute later.
"It's really crazy, you don't expect something like this to happen so close to your home," said neighbor Courtney Howell.
"When you have a 7-year-old child, innocent child, that's killed, that had no way to protect himself, it's such a shock to this community," said Capt. Calvin Cooks, Thibodaux police.
"When I got here, it was something to be upset about," said Cooks. "It struck a nerve."
Police said it's not the first time they've been to the couple's home. They responded to a disturbance call exactly a month before the murder in which the mother and father were arguing. Police said no one was arrested because there was no physical fight between the two at the time.
"We're thinking there may have been some tension between them before this [murder] occured, arguing, perhaps physical fighting, we don't know at this time," said Cooks.
Police said Lirette's mother wasn't home when they arrived. But authorities said she was so grief-stricken when she got to the scene, she had to be hospitalized. Police plan to question her soon, and have been questioning other family members throughout the day.
"We are not ruling out anyone else, and we are questioning anybody that may have been involved in this incident," said Cooks.
It's the first murder in Thibodaux since 2008. Neighbors said the family moved into the home just a few months ago, and they could have never seen this coming.
"When coming into the apartment complex, we used to see them outside. I mean, nothing strange going on over there, we didn't see too much, just a normal family," said Howell.
Now, the community is coming together to pray for the Thibodaux Elementary Second grader, a defenseless child who met a gruesome death.
Police searched the home into the evening Saturday, but didn't say whether they recovered any drugs or weapons. They did remove the kitchen sink and send it to the state crime lab in Baton Rouge.
Police are still working to find a motive. The Lafourche Parish Coroner's Office plans to do an autopsy Monday morning. Wright being held on $5 million bond.
Authorities said he has a criminal record that includes drug charges and contempt of court.