Gag Order Frustrates Child's Mother




3-Year-Old Girl In Foster Care Killed
HAMMOND, La. -- Tangipahoa Parish detectives are investigating the death of a 3-year-old girl who died while in the care of her foster parents, according to family members.
Faith Saucier died about a week ago, and was buried Friday. Authorities now say her death is a homicide.
"She didn't deserve none of this. The sweetest little thing. She didn't deserve none of this," said Ashley Saucier, Faith's biological mother.
Ashley Saucier battled drug problems for years, so she put her daughter into the state's foster care system. Last Friday, she laid her to rest in the remote family grave in Varnado.
"I want whoever hurt my baby, and killed my baby, to be in jail," she said.
Saucier's attorney, William Arata, showed WDSU the Tangipahoa Parish coroner's report he obtained on Faith, showing the manner of death was homicide.
"Blunt force trauma, sub-scalpular hemorraging about the head along with two perforations of the small intestines," said Arata, reading from the report.
The report also included pictures of apparent bruises on Faith's arms and neck.
"Soon thereafter, I was informed there was a gag order. Nobody's presented me with a copy of this alleged gag order," Arata said.
And that's apparently why few people are talking about Faith's death. The sheriff's office said the gag order was issued by 21st Judicial District Juvenile Judge Blair Edwards.
The sheriff's office will only confirm it has launched in investigation into the child's death.
"Whoever is responsible for this homicide has still not been arrested, and the mother is just looking for closure at this point in time," Arata said. "I can't believe anyone in the city of Hammond would like to know that there is a potential child murderer in their midst."
Arata said only eight people attended Faith's funeral Friday, and many questions remain unanswered.
"She (Saucier) is not going to rest tonight, or tomorrow night, or the day after that, until she knows who killed her child. I agree with her," Arata said.
The office of Children and Family Services in Tangipahoa Parish referred WDSU to the state office in Baton Rouge, but those calls were not returned.
Asked about the gag order Wednesday afternoon, Judge Edwards said, "There is truly no need for a gag order in any juvenile case. All juvenile matters are confidential by law to protect and ensure the safety of all children."