St. Charles Herald-Guide

Destrehan murder suspect slept in woods to avoid capture

By Jonathan Menard - August 1, 2014

Bruce Bourgeois Jr., who is suspected of killing his girlfriend and severely injuring her mother, pulled off into a wooded area near Independence and slept in a stolen vehicle to avoid authorities Wednesday night.

Bourgeois was eventually captured Thursday night after an alert Independence resident saw him trying to buy clothes at a Dollar General store. The local sheriff’s office responded an arrested Bourgeois without incident.

St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne, who did not want to speak about details of the murder, said he believes Bourgeois fled the area on Wednesday morning and headed north down Interstate 55.

He said that after reaching Independence, Bourgeois allegedly pulled over into a concealed area and slept in a car that was stolen from one of the victims

On Thursday afternoon Bourgeois left the car and walked to a nearby Dollar General. He was spotted soon after. Champagne said Bourgeois was not wearing any type of disguise when he was captured at 7:13 p.m. and first denied that he was the man authorities were looking for.

He is currently being held without bond at the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center. He is charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and armed robbery.

On Wednesday morning, Bourgeois Jr. is accused of stabbing his girlfriend, Mia Waite, to death in a home the two shared in the 300 block of Madewood Drive in Destrehan. Bourgeois also appears to have lured Mia's mother, Carmelina Waite, to the home by calling her and asking for a ride.

When Carmelina arrived, she was attacked and her throat was slashed, according to Olene Whiddon, Carmelina's sister.

Bourgeois allegedly fled in Carmelina's vehicle.

“She was an angel and went over there trying to help,” Whiddon said. “She has lost her daughter and is struggling for her life.”

Mia was discovered dead in her bathroom by St. Charles Parish sheriff's deputies at 9:07 a.m. Carmelina is currently in ICU.

Whiddon said that Mia was a good mother who loved everyone.

“She didn’t deserve that…nobody deserves that," Whiddon said. "She loves her family. She was a loving daughter and she loved her family and kids.”

Bourgeois, who had a child with Mia, has a lengthy arrest record in St. Charles Parish. 

In 1999, he pled guilty to second-degree battery and was sentenced to six months in jail. In 2004, he was arrested and charged with the unauthorized use of a vehicle and received probation.

Two years after that offense, Bourgeois was arrested for simple burglary, but the case was dropped at the request of the victim. In 2007, he was arrested and charged with domestic abuse battery and again received probation.

In 2009, Bourgeois pled guilty to the theft of a firearm and received a 10-year jail sentence. However, his sentence was suspended and he was instead given five years of probation.

A picture of Bruce Bourgeois and Mia Waite taken at a Halloween party last year.
A picture of Bruce Bourgeois and Mia Waite taken at a Halloween party last year.