Search continues for man who jumped from Veterans’ Memorial Bridge in Gramercy

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 24, 2011



GRAMERCY – State police and other law enforcement authorities say they will continue their search today for a Vacherie man who jumped from the Veterans’ Memorial Bridge at the St. James/St. John the Baptist Parish line into the Mississippi River Tuesday afternoon following a high speed chase through St. James Parish.

Authorities say Kylan Laurent, 22, is a “person of interest” in the deaths of two women found bound and partially clothed in two separate hotel rooms in Jefferson Parish. State police attempted to make a traffic stop on Laurent on LA 18 in St. James Parish because he is also apparently wanted by the East Baton Rouge Parish Violent Crimes Unit on aggravated battery and false imprisonment charges, said trooper Russel Graham, spokesman for State Police Troop A.

Graham said when troopers initiated the stop, just before 1 p.m. Tuesday, Laurent immediately fled in his 2005 Chevrolet Impala. A high speed chase then ensued eastbound on LA 18 toward the bridge. Graham said Laurent drove across the bridge, stopped near the top of the bridge on the right shoulder, exited his car and jumped over the bridge rail into the river.

Graham said State Police Air Support, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the St. James Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Port of South Louisiana personnel immediately began searching the river and the surrounding area for Laurent. He said the search will continue until he Laurent is located.

L’Observateur will continue to update this story as more information develops.