The body of sixth-grader Joshua Oates was found by the hotel's housekeeping staff

By Chris Harris
March 19, 2020 02:01 PM
Mississippi Bureau of Investigation

An Ohio mother has been arrested by Louisiana authorities on charges out of Mississippi, where investigators have alleged she killed one of her three young sons in a hotel room.

Numerous local reports — including those from the Columbus Dispatch, WLBT and the Clarion Ledger — indicate that Latina Marie Oates, 33, was detained in New Orleans Wednesday morning.

Officials in Mississippi issued an Amber Alert for Oates’ two sons, aged 6 and 9, after finding the body of her 11-year-old son around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in a room at the Hampton Inn in Laurel, Mississippi.

Laurel Police have identified the deceased son as Joshua Oates, a sixth grader.

Oates has been formally charged with one count of first-degree murder stemming from Joshua’s death.

Police have yet to disclose how the boy was killed.

The two surviving sons have been found and are in protective custody.

Investigators learned Oates had checked into the hotel on Saturday with her children.

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The boy’s body was found by the hotel’s housekeeping staff.

Joshua had been dead for several hours before his body was discovered.

Oates is expected to be extradited back to Mississippi from New Orleans.

She has yet to plead to the murder count against her, and information on her attorney, if she has one, was unavailable.

It is unclear why Oates was in Laurel, or why she went to New Orleans. A motive for the killing is also unknown at this time.