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Cause of death pending for former principal found Monday

Posted at 10:10 PM, Oct 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-03 23:19:19-04

Twin City Funeral Home in Morgan City will handle the arrangements for a former principal found dead inside her home on Monday morning. The details on the funeral arrangements are pending.

In a quiet city and an even quieter neighborhood, Patricia Lynn Russo’s death shocked the community.

“It’s a very small town, it’s a close-knit community we do have great help from the public when we have crime in the neighborhoods so it is unique to have such a violent crime occur in Morgan City,” said Cpt. Teddy Liner with the Morgan City Police Department.

Morgan City Police Officers found Russo dead inside her residence located in the 1200 block of Walnut Drive after the Department received a call of a medical emergency.

Investigators discovered evidence that indicated it was a suspicious death and foul play may have been involved.

If that’s the case, it will be the first homicide in the city in seven months.

“This lady came out of the front of the house and shes waving her hands. And another woman came out and said ‘there’s a dead woman, dead woman. There’s blood everywhere!'” said a neighbor, Pete Covington.

St. Mary Parish Coroner’s Office stated today the manner of death is pending investigation and the Office is waiting on lab results.

To those who knew her, Russo was kind and full of spirit.

Russo was a St. Mary Parish educator serving principal of Maitland Elementary in Morgan City from 1988 to 1991, principal of J.S. Aucoin Elementary in Amelia from 1991 to 2001 and Instructional Specialist for St. Mary Parish public schools from 2001 until her retirement in 2004, according to Leonard Armato, St. Mary Parish Superintendent.

Now they’re left to wonder, what happened?

“This foul play thing- how do you.. I know all these people, I think I know them. But things like that happen, and you throw all that you think out the window,” said Covington who’s been Russo’s neighbor for more than 20 years.

Police say they still don’t have a suspect.

Investigators are asking the public for anyone who has information or homeowners in the area with video surveillance to contact Morgan City Police Department Detectives Division at (985)380-4605.