Coroner: Woman found dead in bayou is homicide victim

Sheriff’s officials returned to the bayou along South Tiger Bend Road on Monday after an autopsy determined a woman whose body was pulled from the waters this weekend died of blunt-force injuries to her head, neck and chest.

Dr. Beau Clark, the East Baton Rouge Parish coroner, ruled the death a homicide. The woman’s identity had not been released late Monday, pending next of kin notification.

Few details about the investigation were made public Monday. Clark said the woman could have been killed with a fist or some other object.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference,” he said of blunt-force injuries.

The body was recovered in a quiet area in the eastern reaches of the parish, north of Hoo Shoo Too Road. Detectives were investigating the possibility the body had been dumped into the Amite River and then floated into the bayou.

Clark estimated the woman, whose body was discovered by boaters, had been in the water for less than a week. He said she was identified through her fingerprints.

Sheriff’s officials returned to the bayou Monday afternoon in search of some type of evidence. The Baton Rouge police helicopter could be seen circling overhead.