A Louisiana man who appeared to have had days of drug addiction with a woman killed her in a car Monday in an attack he streamed online, showing that he stabbed, choked and tortured her, authorities said.
The live streaming led to the man, Earl Lee Johnson Jr., 35, being charged with murder in the murder of Janice David, 34, who was found in the vehicle Monday night with her hands tied and the body bloodied from more than 10 stab wounds. Sergeant. L’Jean McKneely, a spokesman for the Baton Rouge Police Department, on the phone.
“It is a very heinous, very bad act,” he said at a news conference on Tuesday.
The video stream was posted to Instagram, which is owned by Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, according to Stephanie Otway, a company spokeswoman. Baton Rouge police had said earlier on Tuesday that the video had been streamed on Facebook Live, which is operated by Meta.
Sergeant McKneely said by phone that Mr. Johnson did not have an attorney on Tuesday afternoon and he could not be reached for comment.
Baton Rouge police said it learned of the attack hours after officers arrested Mr Johnson Monday afternoon in connection with an unrelated theft of a vehicle.
Louisiana State Police were notified by Meta Monday of an Instagram video in which Mr Johnson assaulted Ms David, police said. Meta had learned about the violent video from a user who notified the company.
State troopers later found the car where the recorded attack appeared to have taken place, Sergeant McKneely said.
They then told the Baton Rouge police of their findings. Sergeant McKneely said when Mr Johnson was asked about the attack while he was in custody, he admitted to “killing someone.”
The attack took place in the front seats of a vehicle parked in the parking lot of an office building, Sergeant McKneely said. Johnson put his phone on the dashboard and filmed him hitting Ms. David while appearing to be “talking to people watching online and mentioning what he was doing,” he said.
Sergeant McKneely said that Mr. Johnson also tried to set the car on fire while the body of Ms. David stayed inside.
Authorities said they believe Mr Johnson and Ms David had used drugs together for at least three or four days. Sergeant McKneely said they had used heroin and methamphetamine.
“He looked like he was under the influence of something,” Sergeant McKneely said.
Authorities are still investigating how they knew each other, he added.
The family of Mrs. David was “in shock” after detectives informed them of her murder, Sergeant McKneely said.
It was unclear how long it took Meta to remove the video after it was posted and notified authorities. Ms. Otway said in a statement that Meta “deleted the video from our platform, disabled the account it posted and will support law enforcement in their investigation.”
She added that Meta is trying to “pause these streams as soon as possible when they are reported to us.”
People can report violations during a live broadcast,” she said. “They don’t have to wait for the live broadcast to finish.”
Meta has been dealing with live video on its platform in recent years showing shootings and other acts of violence, as the company continues to struggle with its role in controlling content.
In 2017, three men were arrested in Sweden on suspicion of raping a woman and live streaming the attack to a private Facebook group. In February of that year, two radio journalists in the Dominican Republic were shot and killed during a Facebook Live broadcast while reading the news on an FM radio station.
In the Louisiana case, Sergeant McKneely said, the live video helped authorities make an arrest.
“I’ve seen things like that happen all over the country,” he said. “But in this particular area, it’s the first time something like this has happened.”