BR police arrest man in Evangeline Street slaying, identify victim

Baton Rouge police made an arrest early Friday in the death of a Baker man whose body was found Thursday in the trunk of a Dodge Challenger near Beechwood Drive and Evangeline Street.

Police arrested Damarcos Gross, 19, 2111 E. Azalea Ave., Baker, in the death of Clifton Earl Walker III, 27, 4604 Chapeau Drive, Baker, police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean Mc-Kneely said.

Police found Walker in the trunk of his vehicle at 9:44 a.m. Thursday after receiving a call about a “suspicious vehicle” in the parking lot of Vizion’s Barber and Beauty Salon at 4585 Evangeline St., McKneely said.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Gross and Walker got into a fight inside Walker’s car. During the fight, Walker got out of the vehicle and ran off.

At some point, Walker was hit by the vehicle, which was possibly driven by Gross, the affidavit says. Gross put Walker inside the trunk of the car and drove it to Vizion’s Barber.

After parking the car behind the business, Gross took Walker’s iPhone then tried to set the victim’s car on fire, the affidavit says.

When police found Walker, he had “noticeable trauma to his head,” McKneely said.

East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Beau Clark said Friday an autopsy on Walker revealed that “crushing injuries to the head and torso” caused Walker’s death.

McKneely said Walker’s death was not drug-related, but he declined additional comment about a motive.

McKneely also said investigators believe people in addition to Gross — who was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on one count each of accessory to first-degree murder, arson and felony theft — might be involved in Walker’s homicide.

Baker Police Chief Mike Knaps said Walker’s wife filed a missing person’s report with his office Thursday morning.

“She said he had left home about 10 p.m. the night before and hadn’t returned, which she said was unusual,” Knaps said Friday.

A woman who answered the phone at Walker’s home Friday afternoon said she didn’t “want to talk right now.”

A woman who answered the phone at The Alter Ego Hair Spa where Walker worked also declined comment.

Anyone with information about this incident can contact police at (225) 389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.