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Aug 21, 2012 9:11 AM by AP

Authorities seek man in triple killing in Larto

LARTO, La. (AP) - A manhunt is under way for a man suspected in the shooting deaths of three people near Larto.

Catahoula Parish Sheriff James Kelly said authorities are looking for Lee John Ponthieux Jr., 42, of Larto, identified as a suspect in the slayings of John Ellard Jr., 45, his wife, Edris A. Ellard, 51, both of Monterey, and her mother, 74-year-old Annie Bell Adams, of Jonesville.

Kelly said his office got a call shortly before 3 a.m. Monday about a disturbance at a house. When deputies arrived, Kelly said they found the three victims dead from shotgun wounds.

"It was just a fight that got out of hand," Kelly said.

Kelly told The Town Talk (http://townta.lk/PsCvLH) Ponthieux became a suspect because he left the scene and had been identified as a participant in the fight by Adams' daughter, Debbie Adams.

Kelly said he believed Ponthieux left on a motorcycle that was found wrecked in a ditch on La. Highway 124, not far from the residence.

Avoyelles Correctional Center and Concordia Parish brought in bloodhounds and began searching the woods Monday with Catahoula Parish deputies and members of the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force.

The suspect has an arrest record for disturbances and fights, the sheriff said.

Kelly also said Ponthieux had been in contact with his sister, Sherri Cole, and told her "he really messed up this time."

The sheriff said he believes Ponthieux was living in a work shed next to Annie Bell Adams' home.

"We are checking one other location where we think he might be," Kelly said.

The sheriff said Ponthieux was likely armed, is about 6-feet, 1-inch tall, and weighs 190 pounds with long brown hair. He was last seen wearing blue jeans and a gray T-shirt.

Anyone with information should call the Catahoula Parish Sheriff's Office at (318) 744-5411.

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