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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -
The search for accused killer Joe Constance is the largest manhunt to date for the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office. Wanted in the June 2011 shooting death of his estranged wife, he remains on the run.
"He's a cold-blooded killer as simple as that. We consider him to be armed and dangerous," said Calcasieu Sheriff Tony Mancuso.
Mancuso said Constance shot and killed his estranged wife, Mary Duhon, at a home on Rustic Drive in South Lake Charles on June 5, 2011. Family members tell 7 News Mary left Constance after years of abuse and even got a restraining order. Mary's daughter and others were in the home the day Constance showed up armed and looking for Mary.
"It was easy in the sense of knowing who the killer was. The hard part is finding Mr. Constance. And unfortunately, he's been able to elude us now for some time," said Mancuso.
Described as a survivalist, able to hunt and live off the land, it was thought that Constance was hiding out in the swamps and woods of Cameron Parish. It's where authorities originally launched their search by land, boat and air after his truck was found abandoned.
"We searched a grid area far bigger than any search we have ever done and he was nowhere to be found. We had the assistance of local police agencies and Wildlife and Fisheries. And when a person leaves their personal belongings - their wallet, their cell phone - you know they had a plan of action. I believe he had a plan of action of what he was going to do to get out of here and used that and got out of here," said Mancuso.
The case was profiled on "America's Most Wanted." KPLC was there as they recreated the scene and the massive manhunt.
Mancuso said authorities have had some very promising tips.
"Even as recently as in the last several months. Even crossed lines of different countries on tips where we believe he could possibly be. It's very possible we were right behind him and missed that opportunity," said Mancuso.
No matter how resourceful Joe Constance may be, Mancuso believes he has had some help.
"I don't know that he could have gone this long without having somebody help him. And know what ... when that time comes, I do feel confident at some point we will arrest him and when that time comes - they'll be arrested too," said Mancuso.
Also assisting the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office is the U.S. Marshall's Office. Anyone with information to the whereabouts of Joe Constance is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 439-2222.