WALKER – Pending the results of an autopsy, Walker police are investigating the Wednesday discovery of a body of a woman near Interstate 12 as a homicide, according to a police spokesman.
Employees of Gravity Drainage District 5 found the body while inspecting for debris under the I-12 bridge spanning West Colyell Creek, said Capt. John Sharp, Walker police public information officer.
The body of a white female was discovered among limbs and other materials that had accumulated under the bridge following recent heavy rains, Sharp said.
Judging from the condition of the body, he said, it appears she has been dead more than a week.
“We will have to await a determination from the coroner as to the identity of the victim,” Sharp said.
“The same is true with respect to the cause of death,” he said. “Given the circumstances however, we will investigate this matter as a homicide pending the results of an autopsy.”
Police were not able to immediately identify the body or the cause of death.
“The coroner’s determinations and conclusions will help guide the direction our investigation takes,” Sharp said.
“The Livingston Parish coroner will schedule and conduct an autopsy … as quickly as possible,” Police Chief David Addison said.
“We recognize the likelihood that friends and family are looking for the victim, so determining her identity and notifying her family is a priority,” he said.
Finding a body along an interstate highway adds a level of complexity to the investigation, Addison said.
“While the victim may be a resident of the area, she could also be one of the many missing persons from anywhere in the country,” the police chief said.
“Fortunately, we are able to draw upon the resources of the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Department to assist us in this investigation,” Addison said.
“Speaking with Sheriff Ard earlier today, I know that his department is committed to working with us to identify the victim and anyone who may have played a role in her death.”
Walker police were unable to provide more information at this time.
“We understand that there are a number of questions that remain unanswered,” Sharp said.
“However, our primary concern is to determine whether a crime has been committed and if so, the identity of those who are responsible.
“Accordingly, we will provide further information when we are able to do so without compromising our investigation.”