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Missing woman’s body found

Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / May 20, 1998

VACHERIE – The badly-decomposed body of a Lutcher woman was found Saturday afternoon after she had been reported missing for a week.

Cause of death was not immediately apparent, but St. James ParishSheriff Willy Martin Jr. stated it was a homicide, the first in 1998.On May 14, at 6:20 p.m., Willie Mae Woodridge called the St. JamesSheriff’s Office to report she had not heard from her daughter for more than a week. Family members had periodically checked her residence andthat of her boyfriend.

On May 16, at 2:45 p.m., relatives returned to a house trailer at 2306Church St., Vacherie, and discovered the body of Shekita McGuffy, 35, 2330West Lebray St., Lutcher.Cause of death was not immediately apparent, Martin commented.

“It was hard to tell, it was so badly decomposed, almost beyond recognition,” he said.

A pathology report is awaited by Capt. Sid Berthelot of the sheriff’sDetective Division.

“We’re pretty sure we have a homicide on our hands,” Martin affirmed, and added signs of violence in the trailer also indicated a homicide.

McGuffy was identified by her teeth, as she had a missing front tooth and a gold tooth on the side in the front.

Detectives are questioning her acquaintances. Her boyfriend has been injail for a month, Martin added, and has been questioned as well regarding any possible knowledge he may have of her death.

The St. James Sheriff’s Office is requesting anyone with information tohelp the investigation call the St. James Sheriff’s Office at 562-2200, orthe Detective Division at 562-2224, or CrimeStoppers at 822-1111.

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