At least six of the 23 murders committed by suspected serial killer Ronald Dominique, 42 of Houma, occurred in St. Charles Parish.
Sheriff Greg Champagne says the case has local roots that spread as far away as Jefferson Parish-two victims bodies were discovered in Kenner, James Brown and Larry Ranson, however both victims were local residents.
"In 1997, David Mitchell's body was the first body recovered in the parish, but there are three other victims that are from St. Charles Parish whose bodies were found locally; Alonzo Hogan, Gary Pierre, and Anoka Jones," says Champagne.
Champagne says the patterns began to emerge in the case around the time the third body was recovered.
"We discovered Pierre's body about 100 yards from where Mitchell's body was found." Champagne tells the Herald-Guide. Champagne says because of the similarities in the cases and the way the victims were murdered it seemed to be more than just coincidental.
"We decided to fly in the Home Box Office, forensic specialist Dr. Michael Baton from New York instead of using the local coroner's office. He brought with him a team of specialists to do an extensive review and the parish paid for it," Champagne says.
The killing sprees began in 1997, continued through 1998 and then there seemed to be a sudden halt Champagne says. It wasn't until 2001-2002 time span that other murders of slender black males who were hitchhiking began to resurface.
"As several other cases began to emerge in Terrebonne, Jefferson and Lafourche, the attorney general's office decided to merge all of our departments together to form a Federal Bureau of Investigation tasks force and treat this as a serial killer case," Champagne explains.
Champagne says Dominique has not been officially charged with the murders in St. Charles Parish, but anticipates that arrests warrants will be issued after a review of the evidence positively links him to the local victims.
"We have two of our task force members reviewing the evidence right now in Terrebonne Parish and according to what they are telling me the evidence looks good," Champagne says.
Champagne says there is a motive in the case, however he cannot release this information to the public at this time.
A report by Sheriff Larpenter from Terrebonne Parish said Dominique had raped the victims, all male.
"We have no evidence or autopsy reports that reveal that any of our victims had been raped, however we will reexamine all of the evidence," Champagne says.