The Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD) on Monday announced the arrest of Earl Lee Johnson Jr., 35, in connection to 34-year-old Janice David's murder.
Authorities discovered David deceased in her vehicle before 10 p.m. Monday near an office building located at 3636 Sherwood Forest Blvd. in Baton Rouge. Investigators say there is reason to believe she was beaten and stabbed to death in a scene that BRPD spokesman Sgt. L'Jean McKneely described as a "very gruesome" and "very evil act" in a Monday press briefing.
Meta, formerly known as Facebook, notified Louisiana State Police of a live-streamed video apparently showing the suspect stabbing a female, and notified local authorities after the incident, according to BRPD. Meta told Fox News Digital that the live video was posted to Instagram, which Meta owns.
"We’re deeply saddened by the murder that took place in Baton Rouge, and our thoughts are with the victim and her family," a Facebook spokesperson said. "We’ve removed the video from our platform, disabled the account that posted it, and will be supporting law enforcement in their investigation."
Facebook interrupts live streams as soon as they are reported to the company.
BRPD officers arrested Johnson for auto theft and aggravated fleeing from an officer around 5:25 p.m. Monday prior to determining his involvement in Johnson's murder. He was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for first-degree murder, police said.
"Initially, we made contact with this individual around 5 p.m. yesterday evening. He apparently had stolen the victim's car. Someone had [come] out, noticed that he was in the car, notified authorities, we put a BOLO out for the vehicle. we made contact with that vechicle. It was a short pursuit. After that, we were able to apprehend him," McKneely said.
Facebook notified local authorities of the Facebook Live video afterward.
The suspect appeared to be muttering to himself as he was taken into custody in a video posted by WBRZ. He told media that he loved his family when asked if he wanted to say anything.
"Everybody is in shock," McKneely said of notifying David's family after discovering her body, adding that investigators believe the woman and the suspect were on a "three to four-day drug binge together, and from there…he choker her, he beat her and he stabbed her."
He also "tried to set the car" in which police found David's body "on fire."
An investigation into the incident is ongoing.