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Mother in Custody After 11-Year-Old Son Found Dead in Hotel Bathroom, Police Say


Latina Marie Oates, a 33-year-old Ohio woman wanted for first-degree murder, has been taken into custody, says the Louisiana State Police.

The search for her started Tuesday. Oates and two of her children–Mark Oates, 9, and Justin Oates, 6–were seen on surveillance footage leaving the Hampton Inn in Laurel, Mississippi early that day, according to The Clarion Ledger.

Louisiana police reportedly said that the kids were believed to be in danger after a third child was found dead in a Laurel hotel. Details on the case were publicly scant, as authorities searched for the Oates family. They released a description of the sons, and Latina Oates’ car. The suspect was described as being from Powell, Ohio, but authorities said she was believed to be in the New Orleans area with Mark and Justin.

That turned out to be the case. Chief Tommy Cox, of the Laurel Police Department, told reporters in a press conference on Wednesday that the family was found in New Orleans. He identified the third child as another son: Joshua Oates, 11. The victim was found in the bathroom of a hotel room, Cox said. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday. Cox described the situation as “fluid.”

The chief described the other two children as being in “good condition.” The investigation is ongoing. Cox said authorities are in touch with relatives back in Powell, Ohio. He also complimented the Hampton staff for helping in the investigation.

[Image of Latina Marie Oates via Louisiana State Police]

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