Body found in River believed to be bridge jumper

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 31, 2011



NORCO – Law enforcement officials say that a body pulled from the Mississippi River in Norco this morning is that of Kylan Laurent, a Vacherie man who jumped into the Mississippi River from the Veterans Memorial bridge in St. James Parish after a high-speed chase with State Police last week.

Laurent, 22, is wanted in connection with two Jefferson Parish murder investigations and is also a suspect in several crimes in Baton Rouge. His body is being transported to the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office, where an autopsy will be performed today.

St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Capt. Pat Yoes said the body was badly decomposed, but tattoos on the body are consistent with those that Laurent is known to have.

Yoes said Valero Refinery employees working on the refinery’s dock ramp spotted the body floating in the river about 75 yards from the dock a little after 8 a.m. He said Valero security employees, with help from the Port of South Louisiana, secured the body and removed it from the water.

Laurent has been missing since Aug. 23, when he jumped from the bridge after leading State Police on a high-speed chase through St. James Parish. Troopers were trying to make a traffic stop on Laurent on River Road in connection with the Baton Rouge crimes before he sped away from the scene toward the bridge.

Kenner Police said Laurent is wanted in connection with the Aug. 22 slaying of Anita McDonald, 22, who was found dead inside a room at the Comfort Suites in Kenner. Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s investigators said Laurent is wanted for another murder at a Metairie Hotel on Aug. 10 and is also a suspect in an Aug. 18 assault on another woman.

Police say they found some of McDonald’s belongings inside Laurent’s car, which was abandoned on the bridge. Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway said a combination of surveillance video, computer and phone records linked Laurent to the murder.