NewsAcadia Parish


Skeletal remains, symbols arranged in peculiar manner, discovered near Rayne church

Posted at 5:57 PM, May 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-18 23:22:41-04

The Rayne Police Department has initiated an investigation following the discovery of human remains near St. Joseph Church in the early morning of May 18, 2023.

The church staff reported the incident to the Rayne Police Department at approximately 7:00 a.m. after they discovered skeletal remains, a note with symbols, and other items possibly taken from a grave arranged in a peculiar manner outside the church side entrance.

“Our priority is to identify the remains and understand the circumstances surrounding their placement at the church. This is a highly unusual situation, and we're treating it with the gravity it deserves," said Chief of Police Carroll Stelly. "We are currently working closely with the Acadia Parish Coroner’s Office to expedite the identification process.”

The contents of the note have not been disclosed at this time due to the ongoing investigation.

Chief Stelly urges anyone with information about the incident to come forward. Chief Stelly said, “We need the community’s help. If anyone saw anything unusual in the area, please contact us immediately. Your information could be critical to our investigation.”

While this incident is alarming, there is currently no evidence to suggest a threat to public safety, police say.

Additional patrols will be initiated in the area out of an abundance of caution.

Anyone with information relevant to this case is urged to contact the Rayne Police Department at (337) 334-4215 or the local Crime Stoppers line at (337) 789-TIPS.