The St. Landry Parish Sheriffs Office says the second body, found submerged in a vehicle, is that of the suspect in the kidnapping of a woman found in that same lake. Autopsies on both bodies will be performed later this week.
Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said in a short press conference on Tuesday that during the investigation into a woman's body found in Lake Dubuisson on Monday, tracks found at the scene directed investigators to a submerged vehicle. The woman was identified on Tuesday as 21-year-old Lia Ali Kazan of Shreveport. On December 10, 2017, Alexandria Police responded to a report of a missing woman from a motel in the city. According to St. Landry deputies, the woman had not returned to the location since the previous night. Reports pointed towards a possible kidnapping, a press release states.
Detectives were later called in after a man found Kazan's personal items in Lake Dubuisson in St. Landry Parish.
St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz stated, "We were fortunate in that on Sunday, December 10, 2017, a local fisherman decided to exit I-49 and try his new rod & reel before heading out to Toledo Bend for a fishing trip. While casting on the bank of Lake Dubuisson, the local fisherman noticed a black object floating in the water and was able to hook it and bring it to shore. Inside the black object (purse) was personal items including a driver's license and cell phone belonging to a black female from the Shreveport area. A call was made to our office and detectives were dispatched to retrieve and examine the purse and its contents. Dragging operations began the next morning and within 4 hours, the body of the female victim was recovered."
According to the release, Alexandria Police learned the Kazan had been kidnapped from the motel by a white male. Evidence from the motel indicated, deputies say, show that she was kidnapped from the parking lot and taken from the scene in her own car. Detectives were able to identify the male suspect and obtain a warrant for his arrest. Investigators say the body of 30-year-old Anthony Michael Murray, of Elmer, Louisiana, who they determined was the suspect in the kidnapping of Kazan was located inside Kazan's 2007 Ford Taurus.
“Alexandria Police detectives were notified and St. Landry Detectives were told that the female victim's vehicle, a 2007 Ford Taurus was missing and the individual suspected of kidnapping the missing female was listed as the suspect that had her vehicle. St. Landry Parish Search & Rescue deputies located tire tracks along the bank of Lake Dubuisson leading into the water. St. Landry Parish divers were dispatched to the area and after a short while located a vehicle in about 15 feet of water. Deputies pulled the vehicle out of the water and quickly learned the vehicle was the 2007 Ford Taurus belonging to the kidnapping victim. Additionally, there was a white male found in the submerged vehicle and was identified as the kidnap suspect, Michael Anthony Murray", Guidroz said.
At this time, the kidnapping investigation is being headed by the Alexandria Police Department, while the death investigation of the male and female are being headed by the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office. While the two investigations are connected, both departments are following jurisdictional guidelines dictated by Louisiana law.
“This investigation is complicated, as well as tragic,” said Alexandria Police Chief Neal Bates. “Our detectives spent days finding witnesses, locating and evaluating evidence, and then were able to identify the suspect in the kidnapping. However, within a short time, both the suspect and the victim were dead and we are left with many questions. Detectives from both agencies are continuing to investigate to find the answers to these questions. I want to thank Sheriff Bobby Guidroz and his deputies at the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office for everything they have done to help with this case. We will continue to work with the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office to explore every lead that develops.”
Autopsies are scheduled to be performed on both victims on Thursday, December 14, 2017. From the autopsies, officers are hoping to learn if the victims were killed prior to entering Lake Dubuisson or if they drowned in Lake Dubuisson.