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Family displeased with investigation into death of Sunset man

Posted at 7:02 PM, Jun 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 11:20:23-04

ST. LANDRY PARISH — The family of the man who was found dead in a St. Landry Parish ditch is demanding answers from the sheriff's office after learning details of his death through KATC.

Donnie Jacobs, 59, was found dead Tuesday morning on Chretien Point Road in Sunset.

According to the sheriff's office, Jacobs was beaten when he went to a house down the street from his own, demanding money he believed was stolen from him.

Jacobs' family members gathered at the sheriff's office Thursday to meet with investigators.

"We felt our grievance, the children, of finding out things in social media, things that you guys were able to find out that we were told we could not get any information on," explained Stephanie Smith, a cousin of Jacobs.

The family says they didn't know Jacobs had been involved in a fight until a report aired Tuesday night on KATC.

Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says detectives found out about the fight about an hour into their investigation.

KATC asked him if deputies had planned on telling family members about it.

"I don't know if they planned on doing that, but when I got the information, I, of course, revealed that to [KATC's Jordan Lippincott] that there was a fistic encounter and that I was told he was beaten up in the house," said Guidroz.

The sheriff says Jacobs left the house and was found dead in a ditch sometime later.

Jacobs' family disputes the claim he went to the house for a fight.

"That wasn't his mission, but yet, the fight concluded in his death and ended his life," said Smith. "So, we stand for justice for Donnie. We will not rest until an arrest is made."

Guidroz says Jacobs had health issues. He also says the evidence, at this point, isn't strong enough for deputies to arrest anyone and that it's soon to tell if foul play is suspected.

"Once the autopsy results come in and the toxicology, we'll know more," said Guidroz. "So, I can't tell you that this gentleman in the house was trying to kill him; we don't have that information."

According to the parish coroner, the autopsy results will be available in about two months.