Catahoula Parish investigating ‘vicious homicide’ after human remains found in Ouachita River

Published 3:31 pm Friday, January 26, 2024

JONESVILLE, La. — The Catahoula Parish Sheriff’s Office is urgently seeking any information regarding a missing person that could help investigators crack an egregious homicide case.

The case stems from human remains retrieved from the Ouachita River on Wednesday.

“It was a very vicious homicide,” Catahoula Parish Sheriff Tony Edwards said after receiving autopsy results.

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Officers responded to a 911 call from a Jonesville fisherman of a body afloat in the Ouachita River at approximately 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

The remains were taken to Parish Forensics in Broussard for an autopsy, which “indicated that the remains found were a human torso with the extremities and head removed in a deliberate and very precise manner,” Edwards said.

The remains are that of an unidentified light-skinned African-American female with an estimated body weight of 220-250 pounds.

They were retrieved about 2.5 miles south of Harrisonburg and had “been in the water one to five days, according to autopsy,” Edwards said.

“We are working this case in conjunction with the Louisiana State Police, multiple Sheriff’s Offices in North Louisiana and other local law enforcement agencies. At this time, there is no indication that the body is that of anyone missing from our immediate area. I would like to reassure the residents of Catahoula Parish that our agency will work diligently to resolve this case and that the safety and wellbeing of our residents is a top priority.”

Edwards urges anyone with information regarding any female who has been reported missing from Louisiana within the last week to immediately contact the Catahoula Parish Sheriff’s Office at (318) 744-5411 or contact your local law enforcement agency.

“DNA samples were taken and if we get a lead on someone missing, we can take this DNA sample and see if it’s a match,” Edwards said.

The sheriff added that some tips received between Wednesday and Friday morning did not lead to a match.