IBERIA PARISH, La. (NewsNation Now) — The Iberia Parish Coroner’s Office released 15-year-old Quawan Charles’ full autopsy report Monday, months after activists raised questions about the police response to his disappearance.
In the report, the coroner said Charles may have had a psychotic episode and took his own life.
Attorneys for Charles’ family say that’s ridiculous.
Charles, a missing Black teenager, was found dead in a canal and his family questioned the police department’s response after they first reported him missing.
The autopsy report said on Oct. 30, Charles was reportedly consuming drugs, including possible marijuana (THC) and psilocybin mushrooms, at the Irvin family’s home.
The Irvins told investigators that Charles passed out after smoking a substance and became combative when he awoke. Allegedly, Charles said he was going to kill himself and left their home.
The Iberia Parish coroner pointed to this incident in the autopsy report, suggesting Charles may have been suicidal.
“When he mentions that suicide is a possibility, we have to question that two ways. One… Where is he getting that information from? Likely he’s getting that information from the same family that he was with when he disappeared, and that has to come into question,” Haley said. “The veracity of what that statement or who that statement was made by and the circumstances on which they made it.”
The toxicology report shows Charles had low levels of THC and alcohol in his system when he died.
No hallucinogenic drugs were in his system, which contradicts a story the Irvin family allegedly told investigators. The Irvins previously said Charles left their home the night of Oct. 30 because he was tripping on mushrooms.
Despite this, the coroner says it’s possible that the THC caused hallucinations and psychosis in the teen.
The autopsy report says his psychotic episode was evident by his behavior on Oct. 30, the night he left the Irvin’s home.
Witnesses said they saw the boy crawling in culverts that night.
Because his body was found without clothes, the coroner says his undressing further suggests a psychotic episode. He believes the psychosis could have caused Charles to take his own life.
The coroner said the fact that the Irvin family told investigators that Charles said he wanted to kill himself before he left their home further suggests he may have taken his own life.
“Take what’s being said about Quawan with a grain of salt because the folks that are making these statements are the same folks that are the subject of a criminal investigation into his disappearance and death,” Haley said. “In my opinion, it appears that they are trying to pass the buck and cover up whatever they did to Quawan.”
NewsNation affiliate KFLY reached out to the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office for comment about these new findings. They said the autopsy report was added to the investigation file and that they are moving to the next phase in the investigation.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide or a personal crisis, there are resources to help. In the U.S., the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. The Crisis Text Line can be reached by texting HELLO to 741741 (US) or 686868 (Canada).