LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Authorities with the Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office have identified the man and woman found dead Sunday.
Deputies responding to a welfare check around 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 16, at a residence on US 90 between Iowa and Lacassine found the bodies of Walter Joseph Gotreaux, 72, and Darlene Cecelia Gotreaux, 70, according to Chief Deputy Chris Ivey, with the Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Walter Gotreaux has been identified as the past president of the Lake Charles chapter of the Cajun French Music Association.
The Calcasieu Parish Forensic Investigative Unit and Jeff Davis Detectives spent the night investigating, gathering evidence, and interviewing those who knew the victims, Ivey said.
Later in the day, Sheriff Ivy Woods held a news conference. As word spread, many in Southwest Louisiana were stunned to learn of the apparent murders. Woods explained what led them to the Gotreaux home.
“Mr. Gotreaux has a neighbor that worked with him, helping him feed the cattle and everyday little chores and Mr. Gotreaux wasn’t answering the phone. He tried several times. So, he got nervous and he called 911. We went out, surveyed the property and found out the door was kicked in,” Woods said.
That’s when deputies discovered the bodies. Woods says details of the investigation are being withheld to preserve the integrity of the case.
One of the last places the couple was seen was at Eucharistic Adoration at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Church in Lake Charles. The sheriff says they were there between 1 and 2 a.m. Sunday morning.
“Our hearts go out to the family. There are people in this world that do very vicious acts and we’re going to try our best to put those people in jail," Woods said.
So far, the sheriff does not say how the couple died or what may have been a motive, but he does not believe the homicides were random.
“Right now, what we’re gathering is it’s targeted at these people. The community is nervous. It’s a very quiet community. It’s not every day you have a double homicide in that area. So, they are nervous, they’re calling with concerns and we’re going to try to help them out with everything we can,” Woods said.
The sheriff says people should not be afraid to go about their regular activities.
The sheriff urges anyone who saw anything suspicious to call them or anyone with surveillance video that might be related to the case. The Jeff Davis Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 337-824-3850.
Sheriff Ivy Woods said this was a senseless terrible act that should never happen, especially during the holiday season.