Kenner detectives believe the body of a man pulled from the Mississippi River near Norco Wednesday morning is that of Kylan Laurent, the Jefferson Parish murder suspect who jumped off a St. James Parish bridge into the water after a high-speed chase with State Police last week. The body is being transported to the Orleans Parish coroner’s office where it will be autopsied and positively identified, the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office said. Detectives said tattoos on the body are believed to match those of Laurent.
Valero Refinery employees spotted the body in the river about 75 yards from their dock shortly after 8 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office said. Valero security employees were able to secure the body and notify the Sheriff’s Office. The body was later recovered by employees with the Port of South Louisiana.
Laurent, a 22-year-old Vacherie resident, abandoned his car on the Veterans Memorial Bridge and jumped 165 feet into the Mississippi Riverafter a high-speed chase with State Police on Aug. 23. The agency on Friday suspended the search for Laurent.
In his car, Kenner police said they found a phone, driver’s license and debit card stolen from Anita McDonald, 22, of Flowood, Miss., who was strangled Aug. 22 at the Comfort Suites motel in Kenner. While searching his car and home, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said, investigators turned up an identification card that belonged to Jateese Hudgins, 21, of Philadelphia, who was strangled Aug. 10 at a La Quinta Inn in Metairie, as well as a phone belonging to a 22-year-old Cleveland woman who was choked unconscious Aug. 18 at the Sun Suites motel in Harvey.Kylan Laurent
The other phones, plus a number of computers found in the searches of Laurent’s car and home, might have been stolen from other victims.
Note from me: Last I had heard there were at least 22 cell phones plus other items that might or might not have connected to the owners of those phones.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office has contacted authorities in Wichita Falls, Texas, and San Antonio, where they say Laurent served in the military in 2008 and 2009. Kenner police said he is a member of the Louisiana Air National Guard.
In the Jefferson Parish cases, Laurent is thought to have contacted women who posted advertisements on the website backpage.com, met them at their motel rooms, bound their hands and choked them. Only the Harvey victim survived, and officials said she has since identified Laurent as her attacker. As in McDonald’s killing, Laurent didn’t have sex with Hudgins or the Harvey victim, the Normand said.
Authorities were already looking into Laurent when McDonald was killed in Kenner, although they didn’t have physical evidence linking him to either Hudgins’ killing in Metairie or the Harvey attack, Normand said. After Hudgins’ death, Jefferson investigators began interviewing prostitutes and found a woman who experienced a similar assault when she lived in Baton Rouge, Normand said. The Jefferson Sheriff’s Office contacted Baton Rouge authorities, who were working on two cases of women that had been assaulted in a similar fashion.
Normand last week stopped short of calling Laurent a serial killer: “I’m not ready to go there yet,” he said.
He has killed 2, attempted to kill another with a short cooling off period in between.
What else do you call him?
He is a serial killer, deal with it Normand. Why try to deny it now? Or, are you still just going to call him a suspect?
The suspect’s vehicle was towed from the bridge incident to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office for processing. A search warrant was executed on Laurent’s vehicle which subsequently uncovered identification cards from both the victim in Kenner and Metairie murders.
Evidence collected from both murder scenes, the suspect’s home and his vehicle is presently being processed at the Jefferson Parish Laboratory. Some 22 phones seized from the suspect’s properties have been swabbed for DNA (in order to Identify possible other victims) and subpoenas issued for cellular providers for information relative to those phones and warrants for the information downloading of those devices. Many of the phones are password protected and uncharged requiring full forensic down loads. Thus far we have identified the telephone stolen from the female on Manhattan. We are actively attempting to identify other victims via these efforts.
Warrants of arrest for Kylan Laurent have been issued for First Degree Murder and Second Degree Robbery, Attempt Murder, False Imprisonment and Second Degree Robbery in the murder of Ms. Hudgins. A second warrant of arrest has been issued for Laurent for the attempted first degree murder. Second degree robbery and false imprisonment for the victim on Manhattan who has identified Laurent as her attacker and whose name is being withheld. These warrants have been entered into N.C.I.C. (National Crime Information Center) Information has been entered into the Regional Organized Crime Information Center (ROCIC) as well as Nationwide (RISK) Regional Information Sharing System.
I hope that they find that most of the other phones were just stolen, but it seems even the police are thinking the worst.