Homeless man found dead near tracks in Paradis

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 18, 2004


Staff Reporter

HAHNVILLE – An autopsy of a homeless man, recently found dead near railroad tracks in Paradis, revealed the 46-year-old drifter suffered a drug overdose and sustained an injury consistent with a fall from a train.

According to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, a railroad worker was driving on the property on Oct. 9 when he discovered the body of Larry Matthews lying next to pond. The body of the black male had been there for about 24 hours.

An autopsy performed by the Jefferson Parish Coroner identified the preliminary cause of death as a drug overdose complicated by an internal injury typically caused from a fall. There were no signs of trauma to Matthews’ body.

While the transient’s death was still unclassified Wednesday, Public Information Officer Capt. Pat Yoes said all indications were pointing to an accident.

“We don’t often find someone lying by railroad tracks. While we suspect he (Matthews) fell from the train, we must investigate the situation to be sure,” said Yoes.

Fingerprints taken from Matthews were matched to extensive criminal records, which Yoes said included burglaries and drugs.

“The crimes Matthews committed are indicative of his transient lifestyle,” said Yoes.

Matthews crime records listed his brother’s home in Thibodaux as his address. However, Yoes said Matthews’ brother insisted Matthews did not live with him in his home.

Authorities said Matthews traveled extensively between the Thibodaux area and the west bank of Jefferson Parish.

“We are trying to trace Matthews last steps in an effort to answer questions about his death,” said Yoes.

Anyone seeing Matthews during the Oct. 9-10 weekend, is asked to call Detective Wally Fonseca at (985) 783-1135 or (985) 783-6807.

In an unrelated case, a New Sarpy woman was arrested by the Sheriff’s office Thursday at 1:43 for allegedly stabbing her husband in the chest with a steak knife while the couple argued.

Tamcisha Freeman, 19, 737 East Hoover St., New Sarpy, was picked up at her home and charged with aggravated battery. She was released later in the day on a personal surety to family members.

According to Yoes, Freeman’s husband suffered only minor injuries.