Decomposed body found in river still a mystery

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 21, 2007


Staff Reporter

LULING – The identity of a severely decomposed body discovered in Luling last Thursday is still a mystery, but investigators expect to uncover it within a few days.

The male body was found floating near the freshwater diversion in Luling at approximately 7:30 p.m. and had soaked in the elements for three to five days, which left the St. John Coroner’s Office with only three reasonable methods of identification.

Damage to the body from voracious swamp life and the warm temperatures of the freshwater diversion left dental records, DNA testing and chest tattoos as the coroner’s options.

The Coroner’s Office is 75% certain they’ve identified the body by matching its chest tattoos to a picture of a parish resident, according to Dr. Brian Brogle of the St. John Coroner’s Office.

The Coroner’s Office next step is to match up the dental records and DNA with the suspected person’s history and family members, a process they expect will be completed within a week.

Had the body soaked in the elements for longer than five days the tattoos would have moldered and rendered identification more arduous.