Police: Woman Kidnaps Baby, Sets Him on Fire, Leaves Him to Die

Combo of Felicia Marie Nicole Smith and baby Levi Cole Ellerbe. Police say the woman kidnapped the baby, set him on fire, and left him to die.
Facebook/Natchitoches Police Department

Police charged a woman with murder on Saturday for allegedly kidnapping a six-month-old boy, setting him on fire, and leaving him to die by railroad tracks in Louisiana.

Authorities charged Felicia Marie-Nicole Smith, 25, with first-degree murder for kidnapping and leaving Levi Cole Ellerbe to die in Natchitoches on July 17, the Daily Mail reported.

Two people showed up at his mother’s trailer door after 9 p.m. on June 17 and allegedly sprayed a mace-like substance in her face before kidnapping Ellerbe.

Police began searching for Ellerbe immediately, recruiting officers from other precincts to help. Less than 90 minutes after authorities began their search, someone reported a fire near the railroad tracks.

Kanika Johnson, who placed the 911 call, told Town Talk she did not think the fire by the railroad tracks was anything serious.

“I just thought some kids might have set it on fire or something,” she said. “I had called the police and told them to hurry up and send somebody to put the fire out before it spreads.”

At the scene of the fire, officers found the badly burned infant at around 10:20 p.m. and rushed him to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center, where he remained in critical condition.

Medics later transferred him to University Health in Shreveport where he succumbed to his injuries and died Wednesday, WWL reported.

Smith is being held in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.

Baby Ellerbe’s family laid him to rest on Friday, with mourners describing the infant as a happy baby with “a big smile.”

“Levi was the happiest baby who always had a big smile,” according to his obituary. “Levi was a blessing to our family and everyone who met him. We will always remember him as our little ‘Chunky Monkey.'”


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