Murdered mom’s three babies caught in center of custody battle

BATON ROUGE – It has been more than two weeks since 25-year-old Tannya Moreau was allegedly shot and killed by her husband in her central home. Now her parents are fighting for custody of the three children she left behind.

Ashanti Witherspoon and his wife, Susan Witherspoon, Tannya’s mother, said the past two weeks have been terrible. Her grandchildren are 4 years old, 2 years old and 6 months old.

Her mother fought back the tears on Thursday and described what it was like explaining to Tannya’s elders that his mother is not coming home.

“He kept asking me if I could call his mother,” said Susan Witherspoon. “I told him I can’t. Finally I said, just look up and scream as loud as you can, ‘Mom, I love you.’ And whenever he did, he was fine for a while. “

Tannya was shot dead in a house on Blackwater Road on February 7, 2021. At first, detectives reported that her death was a possible suicide, but new forensic evidence was presented this week showing that it would have been impossible for Tannya to shoot herself away. Her husband Luke Moreau was arrested and charged with second degree murder.

Rahsha Williams is a close friend of the family. Tannya grew up with her children.

“She was a beautiful girl,” said Williams. “Loved life, and I know one thing: she really loved her children.”

Williams said Tannya did a good job without telling her close family and friends about the abuse she suffered. But some neighbors did, along with others.

“Often we don’t want to interfere,” said Williams. “But keeping someone alive is your business. If someone is molested you have to remember that they are a victim, especially if there are children involved. Those children were the night he shot them, at home. If you can’t do it for the adult, do it for the child. “

Tannya’s stepfather repeated these feelings.

“It’s important that everyone in a situation where there is violence or what you have comes up and says something,” said Ashanti Witherspoon. “We didn’t even know this was going on in her life.”

With Tannya no longer here, the grief for her family and a son-in-law they once loved is unbearable.

“I asked God to forgive him,” said Susan Witherspoon. “I have no bitterness or hatred in my heart for him because he took one of the most precious things in the world from us. I ask God to help me forgive him.”

In one complex custody situation, the state called Tannya’s parents “foster parents” of their grandchildren until formal custody files can be completed.

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