New charge for Barthelemy in Procell kidnapping, murder - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

New charge for Barthelemy in Procell kidnapping, murder

Sabine Sheriff Ronny Richardson says a pair of sunglasses closely resembling the ones seen in this photo was found near the shallow grave where a body was found Sunday. Sabine Sheriff Ronny Richardson says a pair of sunglasses closely resembling the ones seen in this photo was found near the shallow grave where a body was found Sunday.
Arrested: Robert Barthelemy, 34 (Source: DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office) Arrested: Robert Barthelemy, 34 (Source: DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office)
Tony Procell, 25 (Source: Jonothon Mitchell) Tony Procell, 25 (Source: Jonothon Mitchell)
Crime scene investigators were on the scene late Sunday night after the discovery of a body believed to be Tony Procell's in Winn Parish. Crime scene investigators were on the scene late Sunday night after the discovery of a body believed to be Tony Procell's in Winn Parish.
WINN PARISH, LA (KSLA) -

Sabine Parish Assistant Coroner Ron Rivers says the preliminary autopsy on the body found Sunday in the Kisatchie National Forest indicates "blunt force cranial injuries."

Rivers says investigators have enlisted the help of LSU FACES (Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services) to help with dental records and reconstruction of the victim's face.

The body is believed to be that of Tony Procell, 25, who authorities say was kidnapped at gunpoint by Natchitoches police officer Robert Barthelemy, 34.

It was a discovery made by Barthelemy's father-in-law that led to the body, according to Sabine Parish Sheriff Richardson, who says it was a shovel caked with "fairly fresh river mud" on the banks of Saline Lake in Winn Parish that first alerted Robert Barthelemy's father-in-law that something was out of place on the property the two had used for duck hunting in the past.

Nearby, a pair of familiar sunglasses was also found. Richardson says they "closely resemble the ones we've seen on TV of that the victim had been wearing."

At that point, Barthelemy's father-in-law called authorities. Within a couple of hours, a Red River Parish cadaver dog had alerted on a shallow grave and the body itself was found.

A crime scene unit was called in from Caddo Parish, and the body has been sent to the Caddo Parish Coroner's Office for an autopsy. Authorities say they are awaiting the final results of that autopsy to confirm the identity and determine the cause of death.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Richardson says a warrant was being typed up Monday morning, charging Barthelemy with first degree murder. The Natchtitoches police officer has been in custody since early Wednesday morning, after he was taken into custody following a high speed chase and standoff that ended in DeSoto Parish.

He is currently in the Sabine Parish Detention Center, already charged with aggravated kidnapping and home invasion. He was charged with first degree murder on Monday morning.

The Sabine Parish Sheriff's Office will assume jurisdiction in this case, even though the body was found on national park property in Winn Parish. "We did have a jurisdiction question since it was on federal property, but it was decided to let Sabine Parish handle it since it originated with us."

The case is now in the hands of Sabine Parish DA Don Burkett. "He will decide, after he reviews all the facts of the case and all the evidence that we've got, will make a decision on how he wishes to prosecute it," says Richardson.

Procell, had been missing since Tuesday, after he is believed to have been kidnapped at gunpoint by Barthelemy, a Natchitoches police officer. It was surveillance video that police say shows Barthelemy leading Procell from his home at gunpoint that prompted the search for both men on Tuesday night.

When asked for further clarification about the possible motive in the kidnapping, Sabine Parish Warden Joe Dewil says it "could be some kind of possible domestic situation," but authorities have declined to go into further detail.

The discovery of the body came on the same day Procell's family confirmed that they had asked the non-profit search and rescue organization Texas EquuSearch to assist. They were set to meet with sheriff's officials on Monday morning.

On Monday morning, the Procell family released the following statement:

"We would like to sincerely thank local law enforcement, the community, the media, and everyone involved in the efforts to bring Tony home. Also thank you to those who have taken up the heartfelt tasks of supporting the family during this difficult time. To see so much love in our community and the surrounding areas is amazing. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support we have received. Tony was loved dearly by all who knew him and he will be sorely missed."

Copyright 2013 KSLA. All rights reserved.

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • BREAKING

    Kevin Daigle pursuing intoxication defense in capital trial

    Kevin Daigle pursuing intoxication defense in capital trial

    Thursday, April 19 2018 8:44 PM EDT2018-04-20 00:44:00 GMT
    Kevin Daigle (Source: Calcasieu Correctional Center)Kevin Daigle (Source: Calcasieu Correctional Center)

    Defense motions filed in state district court indicate that Kevin Daigle plans to suggest that he was so drunk that he should not be found guilty. Daigle is charged with first-degree murder in the death of State Trooper Steven Vincent. He is facing the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder. Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>

    Defense motions filed in state district court indicate that Kevin Daigle plans to suggest that he was so drunk that he should not be found guilty. Daigle is charged with first-degree murder in the death of State Trooper Steven Vincent. He is facing the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder. Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>
  • Ribbon cutting held for new behavioral health hospital

    Ribbon cutting held for new behavioral health hospital

    Thursday, April 19 2018 8:13 PM EDT2018-04-20 00:13:09 GMT
       The Archer Institute is the lake areas' first state of the art mental health facility. The Lake Charles Memorial Health System along with local psychiatrist and mental health leader Dr. Dale Archer have joined forces to create an innovative behavioral health treatment center that will provide care for adults and children struggling with behavioral health issues.  "This is the first free standing hospital that's been built in over 40 years in the state of Louis...More >>
       The Archer Institute is the lake areas' first state of the art mental health facility. The Lake Charles Memorial Health System along with local psychiatrist and mental health leader Dr. Dale Archer have joined forces to create an innovative behavioral health treatment center that will provide care for adults and children struggling with behavioral health issues.  "This is the first free standing hospital that's been built in over 40 years in the state of Louis...More >>
  • Army investigating fatal shooting of Fort Polk soldier

    Army investigating fatal shooting of Fort Polk soldier

    Thursday, April 19 2018 7:29 PM EDT2018-04-19 23:29:09 GMT
    Fort Polk (Source:  KPLC)Fort Polk (Source: KPLC)
    Fort Polk (Source:  KPLC)Fort Polk (Source: KPLC)

    The fatal shooting of an 18-year-old soldier at Fort Polk is now a criminal investigation. Private Jacob Malcolm of Hedgesville, West Virginia, was fatally shot on April 12 in a residence at the base. Kim Reischling, spokeswoman for the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Command, says that the gunshot wound was not self-inflicted. Malcolm was serving as an infantry rifleman assigned to the 2nd Battalion. Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>

    The fatal shooting of an 18-year-old soldier at Fort Polk is now a criminal investigation. Private Jacob Malcolm of Hedgesville, West Virginia, was fatally shot on April 12 in a residence at the base. Kim Reischling, spokeswoman for the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Command, says that the gunshot wound was not self-inflicted. Malcolm was serving as an infantry rifleman assigned to the 2nd Battalion. Copyright 2018 KPLC. All rights reserved.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly