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Anna Celeste Lowe
June 13, 2005 - January 13, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial
 

Jamie Mercer says of her daughter, Celeste Lowe, that she ws a beautiful little girl who loved to sing and dance, play dress up and that she couldn't get enough of her favorite food, fried fish. Celeste would only eat apples if they were peeled. Jamie says the two had a nightly ritual that she remembers fondly, where she would read a book, tuck her into her bed, they would pray together, she would kiss Celeste good night and leave the room. Soon, Celeste would be heard calling out:

"Mama, mama, come cover me up"

The two would end the night saying I love you. Memories are what Jamie has left of her precious Angle, memories help Jamie get through the day.

Workers at the daycare center that Celeste was attending and her stepmother, Catherine Lowe worked, insisted that Catherine take the child to the hospital after they realized there was something wrong with the child. Of course a nurturing stepmother would immediately have gone to the hospital to have a child checked out. Catherine was NOT a nurturing ANYTHING. Catherine passed several hospitals she could have stopped at, instead she drove until she go to the grocery store, left Celeste alone and dying in the car, went inside and bought a sports drink. Catherine then took Celeste home and her father, Wesley Lowe, was there and when he saw her, they took her to the hospital. By the time Celeste reached the hospital, she had already been dead for at lest two hours. It was reported that if she had been taken to the hospital in time, she could have received the medical attention necessary to survive.

What caused this beautiful, little Angel to die? It was Catherine who hit her in the stomach so hard, that her intestines separated from her stomach.
Celeste got home from kindergarten on January 12th and she was home with Catherine all afternoon and into the night, along with Catherine's two children. The two children in the home say they saw their mother follow Celeste into the bathroom and they heard a very loud thump and then Celeste was vomiting.

Celeste had been taken away from her biological mother after allegations of sexual and physical abuse. Even with the evidence that Jamie Mercer had done nothing wrong, a Bossier Parish hearing officer wanted to see the results of an investigation done by Social Services before Celeste would be returned to her mother. Celeste would have to remain the home of her father and the woman, who at the time, was his girlfriend. Along with keeping custody, a restraining order was put into place and would be renewed at least four times with a Judge signing off on them giving Wesley temporary custody of this little Angel. Katy Balsamo tried to get this order canceled and have the case moved and was unsuccessful. Jamie was given visitation rights by the courts, however, she saw her daughter one time on October 30 and Wesley never allowed another visit after that. Jamie was deviated when Social Services ended their investigation in December and found that she had indeed abused her daughter, based on things Celeste said, Jamie was never allowed to see the report or know what Celeste had supposedly said.

Sadly, Wesley had previous been accused of abusing two other children in his home and that complaint was never taken seriously. One of Celeste's teachers had noticed a bruise on her and reported that, in December. When he was questioned, Wesley said that Jamie had done it, funny though, since she had not seen her daughter since October, his excuse was accepted. A detective who was working on the case never spoke to Celeste to find out what had happened to her and even though he knew that Jamie was not allowed to see Celeste, he was an IDIOT and didn't question things:

"We had no reason to believe that any abuse occurred here and the child would not be in danger
with the offending parent until court proceedings and the criminal investigations were concluded"
Ed Baswell

Well, Ed, you were wrong. Had ANYONE bothered to do a PROPER investigation, questioning Celeste and Jamie, the way it SHOULD have been done, the truth could have been known and Celeste might be alive right now. Had anyone bothered to pay attention to the fact that Jamie wasn't allowed to see Celeste, when that was common knowledge, even with your Detectives, Celeste would be alive today! Jamie felt the say way saying that if they had bothered to call her, she could have told them that she had not even seen Celeste since October 30 and that the Sheriff's office could have sent them a copy of the papers proving she had not abused her daughter:

"They didn't let me down, they let her down. They could have told me and I could have gotten
her back home"



Jamie saw Celeste alive, for the last time on December 26th, while shopping. Celeste saw her mother and her eyes got really wide and Jamie was very excited to see her:

"Once I got ahold of myself, I just started waving. I started crying, she's like 15 feet from me and
I can't
even go to her"

Jamie was not able to even hug her daughter because of the restraining order and all she could do was watch them walk off, while Celeste's eyes never left her mother and remained open wide. Neighbors say that they saw Celeste get on the school bus on January 11 and that she looked fine at the time, no one could know that it would be the last time day would BE fine.

Jamie was not even told about the death of her daughter until the day was over:

"She had been dead all day long and I didn't know"

At about 3:30 p.m. that day, Jamie got a text message that caused her to panic, it was from her lawyer. Jamie was on the phone with her lawyers office and was told that something had happened to her daughter and fear set in instantly, Jamie was told that her daughter was at the Coroner's office and she knew that her daughter was dead:

"I dropped the phone and screamed and wailed"

Jamie next saw her daughter at the funeral home. Taking Celeste's hand in her own, standing over her little white coffin, Jamie noticed bruises on her daughter that were not able to be hidden with makeup. Jamie rubbed her daughters earlobe as she had done many times while talking to her daughter in the past:

"I told her I was sorry. I said "I'm sorry they hurt you", I just wanted her to wake up"

Jamie spent a long time talking to her daughter and then put some lip gloss on her:

"We had our own little bond"

Jamie says that since Celeste died, she has been in a sort of daze, not sleeping or eating well and she is often sick, but she is determined that she will go on be a good mother to her other children. Jamie filed a lawsuit with defendants being named as: Wesley Lowe, Catherine, the State Of Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, Tameika Monday - an employee of the DCFS, Larry C. Dean - Sheriff Of Bossier Parish, Debra McKay - A Detective, Buddy Caldwell - State Attorney General and Louisiana Office Of Risk Management.

Jamie's suit, filed by her Lawyer, Charles L. Kinkaid,  says that the DCFS didn't do an investigation into the allegations that Wesley had abused children in the past and that if they had, they never would have placed Celeste with him adding that they never did a home inspection of any kind. The suit talks about teachers reporting what they saw and that even though she was not allowed to see her daughter and it was widely known, they still allowed Wesley to blame her for bruises on Celeste.

Catherine Lowe, who was 34 years old at the time, was charged with first degree murder and though he was not home at the time, Celeste's father, Wesley Lowe, was charged with negligent homicide:

"The father and mother gave contradictory statements regarding the child's injuries and discounted
her continuous vomiting and extreme abdominal pain as something caused by a common stomach
virus"
Undersheriff Doyle Dempsey

   



OBITUARY

Funeral Services for Anna Celeste Lowe, 5, of West Monroe, LA will be held at 10:00 A.M. Thursday, January 20, 2011 in the chapel of Mulhearn Funeral West Monroe, LA with Rev. Neil Everette officiating. Interment will follow in the Hasley Cemetery under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home West Monroe, LA.

Celeste was born on June 13, 2005 in West Monroe, LA and passed away on January 13, 2011 in Bossier City, LA. She was a bright, loving little girl who loved her family, music, dancing, make-up, and playing dress-up, she even dressed up her brother. Celeste had many friends that made a difference in her life.

Survivors include her mother, Jamie Mercer; siblings, Brittany and Brian Holmes; maternal grandparents, Brian and Kathy Mercer; paternal grandparents, Anne and Dewayne Lowe; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

Pallbearers will be AJ Ross, Wes Hilborn, Jeff Balsamo and Denver Mercer.

Visitation will be held from 9:00 A.M. until service time on Thursday, January 20, 2011 at Mulhearn Funeral Home West Monroe, LA.

Online Registry/Condolences: www.mulhearnfuneralhome.com

UPDATE:

In November of 2011, Catherine Lowe pled guilty to the charge of manslaughter. Jamie admits that she wanted a longer sentence, she understood what was behind the lesser sentence:

"Even though it's only 25 years at least we're guaranteed she's going to spend those years in Jail.

This is a case that could go either way at the trial level could have done either way on the
appellate level"
District Attorney - Schuyler Marvin

Schuyler said that there was a possibility that Catherine would do no time, so in the end, choosing a plea deal was the best for this case since there was evidence that Anna had been beaten there was no way to prove it had caused her death:

"Both sides, us and the defense had experts that were prepared to testify what they thought
caused the child's death, obviously those opinions conflicted with each other"

Today's date is June 12, 2014 and I am unable to find information about Wesley Lowe having gone to trial.

UPDATE: September 8, 2014

In December of 2012, District Attorney Schuyler Marvin said that the charges of negligent homicide against Wesley were being dropped:

"We never had any reason to believe that he was involved in the death of the child"

REALLY? Then why was he charged in the first place? Celeste's mother, Jamie Mercer was not happy about the decision and said she is not ending her fight for justice for her daughter:

"I think it's incredibly wrong that Wesley gets to walk away without repercussions at all"

Jamie stated that even if Wesley was not there when Celeste was killed it was still his responsibility to keep her safe from harm and she was upset about the charges being dropped:

"To me, it's just laziness on your part to not want to push a few extra papers to make sure that
he is held accountable"
Jamie - talking about/to Shuylar Marvin

An online petition was started by a friend of Jamie's which asks for the DA to reconsider their decision. Jamie was aware that the petition held no legal ground, but hoped that the over 3,000 signatures up to that point would help in changing the mind of the District Attorney. Jamie had filed a civil lawsuit and Wesley was one of the people named in the suit.

Thank you to Racheal for sending me this information that allowed me to update the story of Celeste Lowe.

 This page was created on May 13, 2013
Death Occurred in the state of Louisiana

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