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Investigators probe man’s death

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / August 5, 1998

HAHNVILLE – St. Charles Parish sheriff’s investigators continue to probethe death of Larry Ranson of Luling, whose body was discovered July 31 along Louisiana Highway 3160, near Hahnville.

Ranson, 38, 1217 Paul Fredrick St., was found lying alongside a gravelroad adjacent to the highway at 7 a.m. that day.There were no visible signs of trauma, and the death is currently listed as unclassified. An autopsy was scheduled to determine the exact cause ofdeath.

The circumstances appear similar to those with the discovery on July 14, 1997, of David L. Mitchell Jr., 19, of Luling, who was found 100 yardsaway, according to Sheriff Greg Champagne.

Two other unclassified deaths in St. Charles Parish remain unsolved -those of Eddius Sampson, 31, of Destrehan, found in Montz on Sept. 14,1997, and Gary Pierre, 20, of Norco, found in Montz on Dec. 14, 1997, ashort distance from where Sampson was located.

“It certainly leads to suspicion,” Champagne said Monday. He added that inthe Mitchell case the ultimate cause of death was drowning, but that didn’t answer how Mitchell came to be drowned as he was found lying alongside a ditch.

“We’re certainly not ruling out a link between the two,” Champagne continued.

Ranson was last seen July 30 at 9 p.m. in a Hahnville convenience store,the sheriff continued.

Champagne added he is calling for any toxicology tests or whatever will determine how otherwise-healthy people would disappear and later turn up dead. “We need to go as far as we can go.”The sheriff continued, “There’s at least one other human being who knows what happened. I’m concerned for the families – they certainly need toknow.”Anyone with information to contribute is urged to phone detective Randal Ellis at 443-0334 or 783-6807.

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