Natchitoches Child Killer to be Released from Prison

Philip Deselle
Philip Deselle

She was an 11-year-old girl out selling cookies for her school when she disappeared, and was murdered. Now, 25 years later, the family of Averie Evans of Natchitoches is hurting all over again.

The killer, Philip Deselle, now in his sixties is released from prison. He served half his 50-year sentence, because of something called good time, meaning that he served his time without incidents.

Craig Sims of KTBS in Shreveport talked with the family, and they are shocked that the law still applies, and believe Deselle is still a danger.

Averie Evans
Averie Evans

Erin Keyser was only 16 when her niece Averie Evans went missing while selling school candy door to door in her Natchitoches neighborhood. “She was always out-going, and when she did anything, she was in it 100%,” says Keyser.

Keyser has lived 25 years without her niece, and without knowing the location of her remains. When the family found out Philip Deselle, the man who took Averie as she tried to sell candy to him, was getting released, Keyser says their hearts broke.

“We just never imagined that the system would work that way,” Keyser says. Keyser points out that the family knew Deselle could get parole, but never realized he’d be released after serving what they consider so little time for such a crime. “We were resigned to the fact that without her body that was the best we were likely to get,” said Keyser, “We had no idea that he would shave off as much time as he has shaved off his sentence.” Keyser says there is nothing the family can do to prevent Deselle’s release.

Louisiana Corrections expects Deselle to report to his parole officer in Ville Platte at least 24 hours after he is released. His parole officer will determine if he is a danger, and what conditions he’ll face while on parole, like how often he should report to the office. Keyser wants the community there to be prepared for the dangers they feel Deselle poses.

“Keep your children close,” she says, “Keep an eye on them at all times. Take a look at his picture, share his picture. Show your children his picture.”

Deselle was convicted before new laws, which require inmates to serve longer sentences.

Little Averie’s body was never found, but Deselle admitted to the murder.

Story courtesy Craig Sims, KTBS, Shreveport, LA