Police search for killer

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 9, 2004

By LEONARD GRAY Staff Reporter

HAHNVILLE – While a definite suspect has not been identified in the homicide of Vickie Toups of Des Allemands, St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne has released a sketch of a “person of interest” in relation to the incident.

“It’s our best lead so far in the case,” Champagne said.

Maj. Sam Zinna, chief of investigations for the sheriff’s office, said that according to witnesses, the “person of interest” was in the Boutte area searching for Toups around 1 a.m., six hours prior to her body being found.

Zinna said investigators turned up several persons who may have had contact with her, but it was determined it was none of those.

Zinna continued that the “person of interest” is described as a white male with a dark complexion, weighing between 180 and 195 pounds. He has dark brownish gray hair and a mustache.

The “person of interest” was reported last seen by witnesses driving a mid-size white late-model vehicle with clear taillight lenses, similar to a Nissan Altima.

The person quizzed three or four people as to Toups’ whereabouts, they added.

“We need to find out who he is,” Zinna said.

Toups’s body was found later that same morning by a passing motorist about 7 a.m. on Oct. 11, 2003. Her remains were located in a shallow ditch along Louisiana Highway 635, a quarter-mile road connecting U.S. Highway 90 and Old Spanish Trail, between Paradis and Des Allemands.

Zinna added it appeared she had been killed elsewhere and dumped at that location. He added the location is such she would not have been overlooked for any length of time.

Zinna said that Toups’ remains were discovered by a woman driving north on Highway 635. The autopsy was performed by the Jefferson Parish Forensic Center in Marrero, which determined she had been beaten to death elsewhere and dumped at the scene where she was discovered.

Zinna noted that information is only coming in “peacemeal” and may not be easily solved.

Public records indicated Toups at one time lived on Old Spanish Trail in Des Allemands, not far from where she was discovered, but Zinna added she “had no fixed abode” and lived a hand-to-mouth existence. Her four children had already been placed with relatives elsewhere.

She had a court date coming up at the time of her murder for disturbing the peace by being intoxicated, according to public records.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Sgt. Renee Kinler at 783-1135 or 783-6807.