UPDATE: Louisiana State Police Taking Over Death Investigation

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TUESDAY UPDATE  — Morehouse Parish Sheriff Mike Tubbs tells us that Louisiana State Police has taken over the investigation into Edwin Battaglia’s death. 

Battaglia was found dead Monday morning in a holding cell in the Morehouse Parish Jail. 

His body was sent to Little Rock for autopsy.

MOREHOUSE PARISH– A northeast Louisiana teenager has died while in the custody of authorities.

It happened in Morehouse Parish.

According to Sheriff Mike Tubbs, 18-year-old Edwin Battaglia died at 6:30 this morning while in a holding cell.

Battaglia had been held at the jail since June 13’th, and was placed the holding cell for protection.

We are told Battaglia was originally arrested on synthetic drug charges and then bonded out.

His bond was recently revoked and he was arrested.

His mother, Leighla Battaglia, says her son had been suffering from severe migraines and was receiving medical treatment for his condition.

She says when her son was arrested she was assured he would continue to receive medial attention if the symptoms occurred while in custody.

Leighla says her son made several calls home complaining about his headaches and begging for help.

We are told the victim was in custody for over a week and never received medical attention.

Leighla says an inmate used her sons calling card to call and tell her what happened. She says when she saw her son for the last time he had large lumps on his head and cuts on his face.

UPDATE —The death of Morehouse Parish inmate, 18-year-old Edwin Battaglia, leaves some unanswered questions and a very distraught mother.

“All I could do was try to hold my son…That’s all i got. That’s my second child,” says Leighla Battaglia/ Mother.

Morehouse Parish Sheriff Mike Tubbs responded to the mother’s reaction assuring that any unresolved questions would be answered.

“Probably 95 percent if not 100 percent of everything that occurred there occurred under camera. So all of those files are being downloaded. I feel certain that any injuries received by Mr. Battaglia would be able to be confirmed and documented off of the video,” says Sheriff Mike Tubbs.

Battaglia died at 6:30 Monday morning after nine days in Morehouse Parish jail custody.

He was admitted to a holding cell after officers noticed unusual behavior. Sheriff Tubbs says he was placed in the holding cell for his protection.

“He had been under increased surveillance due to exhibiting some bizarre behaviors. He wasn’t necessarily on suicide watch but basically on a heightened watch,” says Sheriff Mike Tubbs.

The teen’s mother, Leighla Battaglia, said her son had been suffering from severe headaches. According to Leighla, he had been receiving medical treatment prior to his arrest. She says she was assured her son would receive medical attention if symptoms occurred while in custody. Leighla says her son made several calls home complaining about the severity of his headaches.

“He called me and told me mama my head’s hurting. I called the jail then and also told them his heads hurting. The nurses told yall if it’s anything with his head get him back to the hospital he needs medical attention.” says Leighla Battaglia/ Mother.

We’re told Battaglia never received treatment.

“They let my baby die in there. They didn’t take him to the hospital,” says Leighla Battaglia/ Mother.

Battaglia was originally arrested for possession of synthetic drugs and out on bond. But his bond was revoked and he was arrested again. State police are now handling the investigation into his death.

“They were contacted yesterday. They had began an investigation questioning jail staff, other inmates and witnesses at the jail,” says Sheriff Mike Tubbs.

Tubbs said the safety of the inmates is a top priority.

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