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Louisiana Sheriff Looking to Locate Mother Indicted on Murder Charge in Alleged Hot Car Death of 2-Year-Old Son

Natalie Broussard appears in a Lafayette Parish, La. Sheriff's Office mugshot.

Natalie Broussard appears in a Lafayette Parish, La. Sheriff’s Office mugshot.

A Louisiana sheriff’s office is asking the public to assist in its search for a woman suspected of second-degree murder. The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office says Natalie Broussard, 28, has “outstanding warrants” linked to the death of Broussard’s 2-year-old son last year.

According to Lafayette, La. CBS affiliate KLFY-TV, Broussard was arrested in September 2020 after her “son was found dead from a heatstroke in a hot car.” That arrest involved a charge of negligent homicide. A grand jury in July 2021 upgraded the charge to second-degree murder, both KLFY and the Lafayette, La. Daily Advertiser reported.

An autopsy on the son, identified as Ryatt Hensely in a report by NBC affiliate KLAF, indicates that the little boy “died at approximately 1:50 p.m. on Sunday, September 27, 2020,” that television station said.

Earlier reports by the Daily Advertiser indicate that the child’s death occurred in a vehicle in the 6900 block of Cameron Street in Duson, La. Local ABC affiliate KATC said the death occurred on Andres Road off of Cameron Street. The Acadiana Advocate indicated that the scene of the alleged crime is a residential area.

Details surrounding the incident remain sparse. Despite being provided the defendant’s name, the date of the indictment, and the basic factual allegations being publicly reported as of Tuesday, the local court clerk’s office said they could not provide additional information to Law&Crime about the case against Broussard without also being given the defendant’s precise date of birth.

A spokesperson for the sheriff’s department told Law&Crime that because Broussard’s son was a juvenile, few details could be released under state open records laws. He said he believed that a considerable span of time had elapsed between the date of the alleged crime and the date of the indictment because of delays in the judicial system caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the relative dearth of information about the factual circumstances of the little boy’s death, the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who knows Broussard’s whereabouts or who has other information connected to the case to contact its staff at (337) 232-9211, Crime Stoppers at (337) 232-TIPS(8477), or to submit a tip on the Lafayette Sheriff App.

[Editor’s note:  this piece has been updated.]

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now deputy editor-in-chief for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only. You should not rely on it for legal advice. Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.