KATC Investigates

Apr 30, 2014 5:57 PM by Tina Macias, Letitia Walker and Jim Hummel

Details released in Bethany Arceneaux kidnapping case

A tip from a psychic ultimately led Bethany Arceneaux's family to search the abandoned house in a Duson field, where Arceneaux was being held by her ex-boyfriend, according to the investigative report released today by the District Attorney's Office.

Bethany Arceneaux was kidnapped by her boyfriend, Scott Thomas, in November and missing for two days before a family search party found them in an abandoned home, and Bethany's cousin, Marcus, shot and killed Thomas.

Thomas died from multiple gunshot wounds. The coroner's report shows 12 gunshot wounds and deputies found nine bullets at the scene. The wounds included three to the head, six to the legs, and one to the left chest.

A grand jury chose not to indict Marcus on murder charges last week; the district attorney's office felt the shooting was a "justifiable homicide."

Interviews from Marcus Arceneaux, Victor "Ryan" Arceneaux, a witness and deputy statements paint a picture of a chance rescuing that hinged on a tip from a Tarot card reader. Thomas and Bethany were found in an abandoned house a short distance from where Bethany's car was abandoned.

The KATC Investigative team obtained the report through a public records request.


The tip
Back in November, the search party was on the second day of looking for Bethany, and they were about to move the search from Duson. They had begun the search two days earlier, thinking the two would be found soon.

"He gone, you know, he gone talk to her, clear it up and then he gonna bring her back," Victor Arceneaux, Bethany's brother, told police during an interview.

That's what Marcus, Bethany's cousin, assumed, too.

"Nobody was really scared, like you know?" Marcus said. "'Cause it happened before. He really, we really didn't think he was gonna really go along with this kid-- with no kidnapping."

But as the days passed, they began to worry, according to statements. Before the search party left the Duson field, to search an abandoned house in Leonville where another one of Thomas' ex-girlfriends said she was held, Victor got a call from Bethany's sister.

She told Victor a Tarot card reader told her, "they never moved from that spot, they never left Duson. He's in that area, they around water or something,'" according to Victor's statement to officers.

Victor admitted that he found it weird, but he felt he and part of the search party should stay on Anderson Road when the others left for Leonville.

"So they said around some water, the reader, so they had big coolie like on this side. So I was like well we gonna take the coolie, and we, we just gonna walk all around the coolie," Victor said.

While searching, they said a man on a four-wheeler approached them and told them about an abandoned house that they could search.

The discovery
Some of the search party went to the front of the house, and Marcus walked around back to try a back door. The door was locked, but pulling on the door might have been loud enough for the people inside.

"She must've heard it. She started hollerin', 'help! Help!' So... I was try', tryin' to break the screen door and iron. I bust the glass on the screen door and iron," Marcus said.

He broke the glass door but it was so dark, he called for his cousin, Victor, to bring his gun because it had a light on it. But Victor froze.

"You could see people pointin' you know, like she in there, she in there! She in there! And like I just froze. I had my gun, I had my gun like ready. Marc took it..... And I hear two shots. I hear two shots... And that's when I ran, everybody ran," Victor said.

The confrontation
During that time, Marcus had entered the house cautiously when he heard Bethany yelling, "'Help! He killin' me! He killin' me! He killin' me!" She told Marcus that Scott Thomas had a knife and a gun.

"She panickin', so I'm not really wantin' to go in... Because I don't know. I can't see," Marcus said. "And... I might just walk into a bullet, you know?"

But he walked into the room and saw Thomas and Bethany on the ground, sitting on a soiled mattress. The documents indicate Thomas was holding a knife to Bethany's neck. Marcus says he tried to convince Thomas to let go of Bethany, who continued pleading, "'He stab, lil Mark, he killin' me! Help! He stabbed me in my head, my head!'"

According to the statement given to deputies, Marcus aimed to shoot but found it difficult to aim with Thomas wrapped around her. He eventually shot him in the leg, and Thomas dropped the knife and loosened his hold on Bethany for a second, but then allegedly reached for the knife again. That's when Marcus shot him again.

He said he continued to shoot Thomas until he Bethany was free, but, then Thomas allegedly came after Marcus. Marcus said he shot one last time until Thomas laid on the floor unresponsive. Marcus carried Bethany out of the house and to safety with her family.

"Marc come out the back with Bethany... And I seen Bethany bleedin' and I just turned around. Like I couldn't see her like that... I turned around and I start cryin' and I start walkin' towards... Towards the fence and I went sit down on the fence," Victor said.

He said about a minute later deputies arrived on the scene.


A history of issues
The District Attorney's Office is not releasing Bethany Arceneaux's account of the events and the request of her and attorney, saying they believe her statements are protected by law.

"As Bethany has been and still is traumatized from this horrific event, we felt the 'right thing to do' in this instance would be to honor her request," assistant district attorney Pat Magee said in a statement.

Along with the kidnapping and killing, Bethany had a history of issues and abuse allegations at Thomas' hand.

Victor said she was held against her will at a house in Leonville about a year before the kidnapping.

"I like this Scott but he had, he had problems. like he just had in his mind he... If he couldn't be with Bethany, nobody could a, be with Bethany," Victor told deputies.

Bethany had left Scott before the kidnapping and came home, telling her uncle she was "tired of pretending. I'm not happy."

Thomas allegedly tried to get her back, and during that time, Marcus told her he would protect her if needed. Their entire family was concerned, Marcus said.

"She always said he not right... But like I said, he was threatened her... And she was, she always...told me that.... 'I'm scared. Like Ima, like I'm really scared 'cause he really is crazy,'" Marcus said.

Victor told deputies Bethany told him afterwards, "I didn't, you know, I never wanted Scott to die you know. I rather him jail, but you know he was gone kill me. You know."

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