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What happened the day Lebrawn Rankin died?

(WPMI) What happened the day Lebrawn Rankin died?
(WPMI){ }What happened the day Lebrawn Rankin died?

Dispatchers received a 911 call from an apartment at the Sandpiper Townhomes off Knollwood Drive at 12:48 p.m. on April 6, 2018.

The caller told the 911 operator that 8-year-old Lebrawn Rankin was lying on his mattress, not breathing and unresponsive.

A second 911 call came in at 12:52 p.m. that day, seven minutes after the first call.

Mobile Fire-Rescue and Mobile police arrived on scene and found Lebrawn's sister attempting CPR.

"And that was unsuccessful. At some point, paramedics arrived on scene and made the determination they needed to stop doing CPR. The scene was secured and of course that was a residence with other children present,” said Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste.

Five children were home alone during spring break, according to police. The oldest was 17.

Lebrawn, who suffered from cerebral palsy, couldn’t walk or easily communicate, according to his family. He relied on others to feed him through a tube.

Police questioned three of Lebrawn’s siblings who were home with him as well as Lebrawn’s mother and his mother’s live-in boyfriend when they arrived from work.

Lebrawn’s 17-year-old sister told police she fed him around 9:00 a.m., but Lebrawn “didn't move.”

His 12-year-old brother told officers he woke up around 10:00 a.m. to feed Lebrawn.

Lebrawn's mother, Zedria Rankin, told Mobile police she checked on Lebrawn around 10:00 a.m. and fed him around 11:00 a.m. before going to work around noon.

When paramedics arrived at 12:55 p.m., they estimated Lebrawn died at least four hours earlier. That would be sometime before 9:00 a.m.

One of the detectives reported Lebrawn’s body “seemed to be in the late stages" of rigor mortis, a stiffening of the body after the death.

Chief Battiste said officers noticed possible signs of neglect when they began their investigation.

"They saw a very frail, what looked to be emaciated young man. And so, just based off those things there, they felt like the scene needed to be secure and they treated it as if it was a homicide scene," Battiste said.

Investigators described a stomach-turning scene in their report, writing Lebrawn's “bedroom smelled strongly of urine.”

There were formula containers and feeding tube syringes all over the floor of the bedroom, according to investigators.

The police report said the floor was covered with clothes that appeared to be unwashed and food boxes.

Police found a soiled diaper on Lebrawn's bed, according to the report.

"It appeared to be some level of neglect inside the home," said Battiste.

Officers found cases of unopened formula for Lebrawn inside the apartment.

The 8-year-old boy who had no way to reach that food weighed just 23 pounds when he died.

The hospital alerted the district attorney's office about Lebrawn’s condition that day.

We'll have what Mobile D.A. Ashley Rich has to say about this case Tuesday, August 18, on NBC 15 News at 5.


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