Update: St. Charles man’s body found in river

Published 2:46 pm Thursday, August 21, 2014

By Monique Roth

LULING — The body of the man who jumped off a St. Charles Parish bridge early Sunday morning was identified Thursday afternoon as James Erwin Sierra III, of Luling.

Sierra, 21, was found dead at approximately 12:30 p.m. in the Mississippi River in Jefferson Parish by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Sierra’s death marked at least the fifth incident since 2012 in which someone jumped to their death from the Hale Boggs Bridge in St. Charles Parish.

Capt. Patrick Yoes of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office said he wasn’t aware of anything that made the bridge more attractive to suicidal people than other locations, adding he didn’t think higher guard rails or monitored cameras on the bridge would deter potential jumpers from the site.

“If someone is determined to harm themselves, a fence is not going to deter them,” Yoes said.

The case began at 2:51 a.m. Sunday when authorities responded to a vehicle parked on top of Hale Boggs Bridge.

Officers found an unoccupied vehicle with the engine running and its lights on, later discovering a suicide note inside the vehicle.

The search for Sierra was conducted by the St. Charles Parish Marine Division and the Port of South Louisiana.

Authorities said an autopsy is pending.