UPDATE: Missing car not found, search called off - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

UPDATE: Missing car not found, search called off

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Dale Lafleur Dale Lafleur
Akeem Ceasar Akeem Ceasar
Phillip Lafleur Phillip Lafleur

UPDATE: The object found by investigators in the Atchafalaya River is not the vehicle of a man missing since 2011.

Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said investigators did not find a car where Phillip Lafleur allegedly said he dumped his great-uncle's car with his body strapped in it. 

Earlier today we reported that a Eunice man - already in jail in connection with a December 2015 murder - allegedly has confessed to the 2011 slaying of his uncle.

Guidroz said that Phillip Foster Lafleur, who is awaiting trial in the murder of Akeem Ceasar, allegedly sent a note through his jailers that he needed to speak to a St. Landry detective about the 2011 disappearance of his uncle, Dale Lafleur. 

Lafleur then allegedly gave a full confession to beating his uncle to death because he wanted money. Dale Lafleur was the great-uncle of Phillip Lafleur, Guidroz said. 

Guidroz said that, if it hadn't been for the work of the Eunice Police Department in the Ceasar case, the Lafleur case might never have been solved. He said a search is underway to locate Dale Lafleur's remains, using information allegedly provided by his great-nephew. Guidroz said Phillip Lafleur said he dumped his uncle's body, belted in the car, in the Atchafalaya River. Late today, we learned that investigators have found an object in the river that they believe may be Lafleur's car. Guidroz said the object was not Lafleur's car, and the search was called off. Nothing else was found in the area. 

Dale Lafleur, 68, disappeared in July 2011 from his home on Bayou Road in Port Barre. He was last seen driving his blue 1991 Mazda Miata convertible. At the time, deputies said he had been sick and depressed, but they suspected his disappearance involved foul play. A search and rescue operation was mounted, but no trace of him was ever found. 

In the Eunice case, Phillip Lafleur was indicted by a St. Landry grand jury on a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the December 2015 slaying of Akeem Adiddias Ceasar. Ceasar's body was found in a wooded area near Eunice in February 2016; he had been missing for two months. Phillip Lafleur is accusing of shooting Ceasar and leaving his body in the woods.  

Also indicted in that murder was Candice Renee Vidrine, 21, who was charged with accessory after the fact to second-degree murder. She is accused of having "participated in or had knowledge of" Ceasar's murder. 

Phillip Lafleur and Vidrine were arrested in San Angelo, Texas and extradited to Eunice. San Angelo police said the two were arrested following a high-speed chase there. In that case, they are accused of stealing a black truck from a parking lot, then leading police on a chase through the town.

They ditched the truck and fled on foot through a parking lot, and were found hiding in a drainage ditch, San Angelo Now reported. 

Police also found one gun on Lafleur and a second nearby, San Angelo Now reported. Both were booked on a charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and Lafleur also was charged with evading in a motor vehicle, felon in possession of a firearm and on several outstanding warrants. 

Lafleur and Vidrine both have had run-ins with the law, although neither have violent crimes on their rap sheets, according to documents obtained by our investigative team.

Lafleur is a convicted sex offender, and pleaded guilty to 2011 and 2012 carnal knowledge of a juvenile charges. He spent most of the past five years in jail and was just released in June 2015. He registered as a sex offender the same month and listed his address in San Angelo, Texas, according to the state sex offender registry.

Lafleur was first arrested in 2011 after he snuck into a 13-year-old girl's home and tried to leave the city with her and her mother's car. While in jail, he was arrested again, this time after his mother delivered cupcakes to him with a package of synthetic marijuana hidden inside.

He pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, misdemeanor carnal knowledge of a juvenile and introduction of contraband into a penal institution and received five months in jail. Eight other charges -- unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling, simple kidnapping, contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, simple criminal damage to property, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to report an accident, switched license plates and no driver's license -- were dismissed.

Shortly after getting out of jail, Lafleur was caught in the bedroom of the same juvenile, then 14, and arrested for felony carnal knowledge of a juvenile, along with unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling and possession of cocaine. He was sentenced in three years in jail with credit for time served. 

Vidrine, meanwhile, has been arrested three times since 2012, for misdemeanor theft twice, along with domestic abuse battery and obstruction of a court order in connection with a custody battle. Vidrine tells us the battery and obstruction charges were dropped. She served one year probation for theft by shoplifting in 2012.

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