Overview of Eric Jr Arbuthnot
Eric Arbuthnut, Jr. turned 26 years old only 5 days before someone took his life. His cousin described him as having a contagious smile and always thought everything was funny to him. This is evident in an online video where he has the biggest grin as his birthday cake is placed in front of him. You can't help but smile while watching it. But that smile quickly goes away once you remember how his life so abruptly came to an end. Who killed Eric, who was loved by so many, and why?
Wednesday, 11/02/2016, turned out to be a nice day. It wasn't too hot and not too cold either as the temperatures reached a high of 82 degrees. Eric had spoken with multiple family members that day and told a friend and cousin that he would stop by their homes later that evening. But the very last person he spoke with that night was his mother. It was around 8:40 pm when she told him to stop by and get some food she had made for him. Eric never made it to anyone's home that night. No one was concerned since they figured he got busy doing something else. But the next morning, Eric's girlfriend still couldn't get a hold of him, and his phone was turned off, so she started calling around and talking to family and friends. Still morning, they all figured he was asleep, which is why no one could reach him. But by 11:30 am, the word had spread, and everyone knew. Family members went to Eric's apartment after they were notified of his death and found it had been ransacked, but they were unsure if anything was missing.
Shortly before 9 pm on 11/2/2016, the New Orleans Fire Department responded to a vehicle fire in the 10000 block of Old Gentilly Road. Old Gentilly Road has been neglected now for the past few decades. There's not very much to see besides junkyards, furniture, and lots of old tires discarded in piles on either side of the road. The vehicle was still on fire when the NOFD discovered charred remains in the trunk. Authorities were unable to tell the age or gender of the person as the body had been burned beyond recognition. But once they ran the plates, they had a good idea of who it might be. The following day, on 11/3/2016, they contacted Eric's mother and told her that the car they found on fire belonged to her son.
The coroner's office listed the cause of death as "homicidal violence of unknown etiology," which means the coroner's office doesn't know how he died. Authorities do not have a motive or a suspect at this time, but they hope someone will come forward. This case is still open.