Dismembered body found in LA could have ties to MS Gulf Coast

Published: Sep. 27, 2016 at 7:32 PM CDT|Updated: Dec. 13, 2017 at 4:23 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Investigators are now using a composite drawing process, called phenotyping, hoping someone...
Investigators are now using a composite drawing process, called phenotyping, hoping someone will recognize the man. (Photo source: Snapshot DNA Phenotyping)

ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LA (WLOX) - A body found dismembered and badly mutilated near The Rigolets in St. Tammany Parish, LA could have ties to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The body was found on July 29 near the intersection of U.S. 90 and LA 433, but Sheriff Randy Smith said investigators have not been able to confirm an identity through DNA.

The case is being investigated as a homicide, and Smith said evidence from the scene shows this case could have ties to the coast.

"This investigation has been extremely difficult, because we have not yet identified the victim," said Smith. "DNA from the victim has yielded no matches in the national and local missing person database."

Smith said investigators determined the victim was killed three days prior to being dumped near The Rigolets between 10:30 p.m. on July 28 and 7:30 a.m. on July 29.

The body was found with both arms and one leg missing. Officials said it appears the victim was dismembered after death, and whoever removed the limbs did not have surgical knowledge.

"The limbs have not been recovered. The killer could have removed the limbs to disguise or hide tattoos," said Smith.

Smith said the victim did have one recognizable feature. A scar on his chest from open heart surgery.

St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Charles Preston said it appears the victim was receiving medical care for a recent bypass surgery and had blood pressure medication in his system.

Smith said the victim is 5'10" and 65 years old or older, but the body was so badly decomposed when it was found, investigators are now using a composite drawing, hoping someone will recognize the man.

Preston said the process is called phenotyping, and it was done by an outside company.

"It's the equivalent to making a composite drawing from a witness who saw part of the person," said Preston. "We're hoping a family member or medical professional will recognize him."

Investigators do know some things for certain, according to Preston. The man had fair or light brown skin and did not have blue or green eyes. His hair was light to dark brown but not blonde, and he had a few freckles.

Preston said it is likely he was of European or Middle Eastern descent, possibly Italian or Greek.

"This gentleman is someone's loved one who's been missing for two months," said Smith. "This is what we call advance tech and hopefully will allow us to go after the perpetrator."

Preston said the body is currently at the LSU FACES Lab in Baton Rouge.

Preston said investigators continue to gather information from several sources and use "technology of the future" to solve the case.

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved.