Missing Vicksburg children, newborn and female suspect in custody in Louisiana; Manhunt ongoing for male suspect

Published 1:41 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Vicksburg children 3-year-old Tamerikaya Rawlings, 5-year-old Benyaaqob Rawlings and a newborn boy known only as “Baby Doe” are safely in custody in Slidell, La.

Suspect Ronneisha Evans was apprehended without incident.

A manhunt is ongoing for the children’s father, Eric Eugene Rawlings Jr.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am

“We were able to secure the children, which is the most important thing, and to get the female in custody,” said Slidell Police Chief Administrative Officer Daniel Seuzeneau.

The Vicksburg Police Department identified the case as a “custodial issue,” stating the children’s parents, Eric Rawlings and Evans, did not have custody of their children at the time of the kidnapping. An Amber Alert was issued for the children on Sunday night.

They were last seen Sept. 20 at about 8 p.m. in the 4700 block of U.S. 61 in Warren County.

Vicksburg Deputy Police Chief Troy Kimble toldĀ The PostĀ the 3- and 5-year-old children are in the custody of the state of Louisiana awaiting transfer back to Mississippi Child Protective Services. “Baby Doe” was a surprise in the case, he said, as it is suspected to have been born while the suspects were on the run.

“The newborn is at the hospital being evaluated,” Kimble said. “It’s a baby boy who was born Sept. 25 at 4:23 a.m. The (CPS) pickup order is for the two children and the newborn.”

Seuzeneau said in a 1 p.m. statement the department had established a perimeter around the area where Eric Rawlings is suspected to be, and officers are expending every effort to safely locate him.

“We have K9 in the area, drones in the air,” Seuzeneau said. “We are very confident that we are going to get this individual in custody.”

Eric Eugene Rawlings Jr. was last seen at 10:17 a.m. in Slidell, leaving the Red Roof Inn and running toward a TA Truck Stop near Interstate 10. A shelter-in-place order has been given for the perimeter because it is near a middle school and a junior high school.

He was not wearing shoes but had on a white shirt and red gym shorts.

This is a developing story.