Disappearance of elderly Jeanerette man being treated as possible homicide

Howard Poche (Submitted Photo)

JEANERETTE, La. (KLFY) – Authorities are now treating the disappearance of an elderly Jeanerette man as a possible homicide.

Sheriff Louis Ackal told News 10’s Megan Kelly 75-year-old Howard Poche was reported missing when he did not attend 8 a.m. Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church on Christmas Day.

A priest asked members of the congregation to check on Poche when he didn’t show up for 8 a.m. Mass.

Upon arrival at Poche’s home, a parishioner found a woman cleaning up a “considerable amount of blood,” according to Ackal.

A knife was also found at the house.

Jeanerette Police arrived on scene and detained the woman. She was later released from police custody.

Both Poche and his bike, who friends say he rode everywhere, were missing from the house.

Sheriff’s deputies said they detained and questioned several male suspects, who have also been released from police custody.

Authorities and volunteers are now concentrating their search for Poche to an area north of Bayou Teche, near St. Mary Parish.

Investigators are also looking for a white Jeep Commander belonging to one of the suspects.  The suspect reported the Jeep stolen.

Ackal said residents wanting to volunteer in the search for Poche should report to the Jeanerette police station for assignment.

Anyone with any information about Poche’s whereabouts is asked to call the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office at (337) 369-3711.

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