March 29 marked the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of Nathaniel Lee Melancon.
His family is still pleading for answers, and St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz called the case nearly "impossible" to solve.
Prior to receiving the case update, KATC spoke with the family, who described the last year as “painful” and “difficult.”
“It just seems as if it’s unreal. A year today and I don’t see that car driving up,” his mother Robin Melancon said.
“There's an emptiness in me. That nobody will ever understand because he was more a part of me than I even realized before he was gone,” his father Joseph Melancon said.
They lost their eldest son in a car accident in 2010, so Melancon’s disappearance has made it even more difficult for the family. It's taking a toll on their mental and physical health.
“This is our second child and I truly believe that our baby boy is gone,” Robin said.
St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says the Grand Coteau Police Department was notified by the Pointe Coupee Sheriff's Department that Melancon’s vehicle was found near the Sherburne Wildlife management area. That agency picked up the investigation and released the case to Guidroz’s department almost four months later.
“After their processing of the murder victim's vehicle. Three months go by and they call us and say we’re stuck here. We [GCPD] don’t know what to do now,” Guidroz said. “We [SLPSO] are stuck now with no ability to make an arrest,” Guidroz added.
Guidroz says after conducting their own investigation they found an unidentified person used Melancon's credit card at McDonald's and gas station around the time of his murder; the sheriff believes that likely was the perpetrator.
GCPD did not obtain the footage from either establishment, the sheriff says.
“The suspect we don’t have, we could have gotten I think from the video camera. And any type of evidence. They could not have produced it for us. Any fingerprints or blood samples so it’s impossible for us to solve this case with all of these issues,” Guidroz said.
We reached out to the Pointe Coupee Sheriff's Office, and were told that the evidence collected from the car and the scene has been at their office since the case was turned over to the St. Landry Sheriff. No one has picked it up, a spokesman told us. We've reached out to Guidroz about that.
For the family, it's simple. They want to know what happened to their son.
“Just give us closure, let us just close this chapter,” Robin said.
We also reached out to the GCPD and are still waiting to hear back. The Melancon family is currently considering seeking legal counsel to determine their next approach in the case.
There will be a Celebration of life for Melancon on April 15 at the K-P-C Hall from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
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