BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) — Sadness lingers in the Belaire community of Baton Rouge over the death of 2-year-old Nevaeh Allen.
“It hurt,” said resident Deoitre Gibbes. “It hurt. It [doesn’t] make [any] sense. That’s a pretty little girl. It’s a child.”
“I just cried and cried. It just hit me. I can’t believe a two-year-old was killed,” said resident Leeann Wardlaw.
The East Baton Rouge coroner has ruled the toddler’s death a homicide. Exactly how she died is still under investigation.
“It’s a sad thing, especially that young of an age, especially with something that you think that you’re close with as boyfriend,” said Ronnie Patton, who is visiting the area.
Detectives said Phillip Gardner claimed he found Nevaeh unresponsive Friday afternoon. They said he later dumped her body in a wooded area in Mississippi.
Her body was found Sunday and brought back to Baton Rouge. On Monday, police were back at the scene taking pictures in the apartment where the toddler lived with her mom and Gardner.
Gardner has been charged with unlawful disposal of remains and obstruction of justice. Police said charges will not be upgraded just yet since the case is still under investigation.
A GoFundMe page has been created to help pay for the toddler’s funeral expenses.