Sheriff ‘absolutely certain’ bodies found in canal are connected to kidnapping of Lafayette woman

PORT ALLEN, La. (KLFY) – The sheriff of West Baton Rouge Parish says he is “absolutely certain” the bodies of two men who were discovered in a canal yesterday are connected to the kidnapping of Lafayette woman.

The woman was kidnapped from her Lafayette home around 2:30 p.m. but found safe by authorities in West Baton Rouge Parish on Sunday afternoon.

The victim was taken to a local hospital. The extent of her injuries are unclear at this time.

Sheriff Mike Cazes told reporters during a press conference Tuesday afternoon the two suspects left their van that was being pursued by deputies on Sunday and fled into a wooded area on. Deputies conducted a manhunt for the suspects that lasted several hours.

The search ended around 9:30 p.m. Sunday. The body of the first suspect was found int he canal around 3 p.m. Monday and the second was found a few hours later around 7 p.m.

“I can positively identify that these are the two guys I chased Sunday afternoon,” Cazes said during the news conference.

The identities of the two suspects will be determined during an autopsy and released to the Lafayette Police Department.

Lafayette Police issued a warrant Monday morning for the arrest of Lawrence Michael Handley, 49, of Lafayette, on charges of second-degree kidnapping, attempted second-degree kidnapping and violation of a protective order.

Lawrence Handley

Authorities said the the incident appears to have stemmed from an ongoing domestic dispute between Handley and the victim.

Cpl. Bridgetted Dugas, of LPD, said told KLFY this afternoon that their investigation is still active and police are asking for the public’s help in locating Handley.

Anyone with any information about the whereabouts of Lawrence Michael Handley is asked to call police department at (337) 291-8600 or Lafayette Crime Stoppers at 337-232-TIPS (8477).


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