Three arrested in death of 73-year-old Zachary woman found tied up

Three arrested in death of 73-year-old Zachary woman found tied up
Three men were arrested in connection to the March death of a Zachary woman. From left to right: Adrian Curtis, Donevan Brown, and Courtland Curtis

ZACHARY, LA (WAFB) - Authorities have arrested three people in connection to the murder of Frances Jane Schultz, 73, a Zachary woman who was found dead by her husband with her arms and legs duct taped on Thursday, Mar. 21.

Courtland Curtis, Adrian Curtis, and Donevan Brown were taken into custody Friday, Mar. 29. They are all charged with first degree murder and aggravated robbery. Courtland and Adrian are brothers.

East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux says investigators knew from the start that the home invasion was not random. The investigation started after Schultz’s husband found her dead and bound in the home. Gautreaux says her arms and legs were bound with duct tape, and she had tape over her eyes when she was discovered. Schultz was shot multiple times, including in the head.

"Shultz was found with her arms and legs bound with duct tape and had duct tape over her eyes and mouth as she was shot in the head and it was obvious someone had gone through her home,” Gautreaux said.

From left to right: East Baton Rouge DA Hillar Moore, EBR Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, and Zachary Police Chief David McDavid
From left to right: East Baton Rouge DA Hillar Moore, EBR Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, and Zachary Police Chief David McDavid (Source: WAFB)

Detectives found a door that had been forced open and a notepad with Adrian Curtis’ name and phone number written on it. Gautreaux says the name was written in Schultz’s handwriting.

“According to her husband, everything in that notepad, everything they did daily was written down on that notepad,” the sheriff said. “They had all the numbers and it actually had one of the suspect’s name and number on the notepad, so that’s how we developed him early on.”

RELATED: Husband of Zachary woman bound, killed in apparent home invasion: ‘This is an evil world’

The Louisiana State Police crime lab determined Curtis’ DNA was under Schultz’s fingernails. Gautreaux says Adrian Curtis had previously baled hay for the Zachary couple in spring of 2018.

"This was not some random home invasion,” he said. “We knew that the victim of this crime and the perpetrators of this crime were acquainted with each other.”

Adrian Curtis told detectives Brown drove him and his brother to the Schutlzs’ house, where they broke in.

Curtis and Brown taped the victim’s hands and feet before they rummaged through the home. Police say Courtland drug Schultz inside and shot her in the head multiple times with a gun belonging to her.

Adrian says his brother stole two guns and a ring.

"He said his brother, Courtland, stole two guns and shot Schultz in the head,” Gautreaux said.

The Curtises were found and taken into custody Thursday, Mar. 28 at their home in Ethel. Brown was arrested in Ethel Friday morning.

Adrian Curtis was arrested Friday, Mar. 29
Adrian Curtis was arrested Friday, Mar. 29 (Source: WAFB)

The men were booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

EBRSO detectives, the LSP Fugitive Task Force, and the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office worked together to make the arrests.

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