I’ve heard a lot of comments from people who were curious as to why Bossier Parish judges would keep reissuing protective orders against the natural mother of the child. The answer is in the Times today.
- Finally, Social Services completed their investigation in December and validated the reported abuse. The news was a crushing blow to the 32-year-old Mercer, who never saw the report but was told that the agency had found against her because of consistent statements made by Celeste.
Now we know that Celeste was in peril for her life in Bossier Parish; the judges and the hearing officer did not know that before the fact.
What is more troubling is the fact that in December the Bossier Sheriff’s department was called to Elm Grove School because one of Celeste’s teachers noticed a bruise on her neck. The sheriff’s office investigated.
- Bossier sheriff's spokesman Ed Baswell said a detective talked with Wesley Lowe, a Social Services worker and the teacher. All pointed the finger at Mercer — not Catherine Murray Lowe, Baswell said. As a result of those conversations, the detective concluded the abuse occurred in West Monroe and was not within the Bossier sheriff's jurisdiction, Baswell said. But the detective didn't talk with Celeste. The detective also didn't call Mercer or contact the Ouachita sheriff's office. Although the detective was aware a Sept. 29 temporary protective order kept Mercer from her daughter, that knowledge didn't appear to trigger any questions about how Mercer could have abused Celeste. "We had no reason to believe that any abuse occurred here and the child would not be in danger with the offending parent until court proceedings and the criminal investigations were concluded in Monroe," Baswell said.
Had this been fully investigated, would it have been the trigger to remove the child to foster care? We'll never know.
Go to the Times and read the articles. There are no easy answers for any of it.