Foul play not suspected in death of 19-year-old LaPlace woman

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 2, 2010



LAPLACE – St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s authorities said Thursday that investigators have ruled out homicide in the death of a 19-year-old LaPlace woman whose body was found in a drainage canal Wednesday not far from her home.

Sheriff Wayne L. Jones said investigators found the body of Courtney Carroll about 10 a.m. Wednesday in a waterfilled canal behind Greenwood Drive. Her body showed no signs of trauma, and there was no sign of any struggle at the scene, Jones said.

An autopsy performed Thusday could not determine a cause of death, but Jones said illegal drugs were found on her person and in her system. He would not say specifically what drugs were found.

“We are still waiting on a toxicology report to determine what was in her system,” Jones said.

According to a Sheriff’s Office report, Carroll’s family reported her missing about 10:39 p.m. Tuesday when she did not return from a jog with her dog. A family member told deputies that Carroll left the home, in the 2100 block of Greenwood Drive, about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday wearing a grey tank top and blue shorts.

When the dog returned home without Carroll, the family tried to contact her but were unsuccessful. The family then called the Sheriff’s Office.

Jones said when deputies finally located Carroll the next morning, she was wearing blue jeans and a yellow T-shirt. He could not explain the clothing change.

“If she did go jogging earlier, and there is no reason to doubt that, she could have gone home and changed her clothes,” Jones said. “When we found her she was not wearing clothing consistent with going out jogging.”

Jones said there had been some question about whether Carroll had been assaulted while out jogging, but he said those rumors are “completely false.”

Jones did say that investigators questioned a 55-year-old New Orleans man who had been a companion of Carroll and possible live-in boyfriend. Jones said the man is not considered a suspect in the case.

“He has been very cooperative with us,” Jones said “This is a very tragic situation for this young lady. Our prayers are certainly with the family.”

Jones said Carroll had been going to school for nursing in New Orleans and had been an occasional nursing assistant volunteer at the Louisiana War Veterans Home in Reserve.

Jones said the case is still open as investigators await the final results of the autopsy and toxicology reports, which will come in the next few weeks.