RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB / KPLC) - A Rapides Parish grand jury has indicted an Oakdale man in a cold case murder that investigators believe they solved last year.
Leo Laird, 64 of Oakdale, has been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree rape, and aggravated kidnapping for the 1980 death of 18-year-old Donna Gayle Brazzell in Gardner. The grand jury returned a true bill on Tuesday.
Brazzell’s remains were found in November 1980, but went unidentified until 2019 when the LSU FACES Lab in Baton Rouge and a relative were able to make a positive identification. The Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office made the announcement about the identification and the arrests of Laird and a co-defendant, Gary Joseph Haymon, 54, of Oakdale, back in August. Haymon is currently serving a 49-year sentence in another case.
Laird is being represented by George Higgins. The case is being prosecuted by Christopher Bowman.