Law enforcement investigates slaying of Baton Rouge man

Authorities continued to investigate this week the death of Marcus Franklin, 31, whose body was discovered Friday near the Mississippi River in Iberville Parish, several days after his car was found engulfed in flames in Ascension Parish.

“It’s definitely a homicide,” Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi said. “They’re chasing down some leads that have come up in” the investigation.

Dr. Beau Clark, East Baton Rouge Parish coroner, said Franklin died of multiple stab wounds. He said it’ll be difficult to determine a time frame for Franklin’s death because of the body’s prolonged exposure to weathering elements.

Franklin, of Baton Rouge, had been reported missing for four days when someone walking along the Mississippi River levee on Dec. 6 discovered his body about half a mile south of the ferry landing in St. Gabriel.

A relative of Franklin’s first reported him missing to Baton Rouge police Dec. 2, and no family members had seen him since Nov. 30, said Cpl. L’Jean McKneely, a police spokesman.

On the night of Nov. 30, a passerby spotted Franklin’s car on fire in the vicinity of Rena Melancon Road, just across the Mississippi River from Donaldsonville, said Chief Deputy Tony Bacala, of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office.

A passerby spotted Franklin’s 2005 Dodge Magnum on fire around 11:40 p.m., Bacala said.

Stassi said investigators believe Franklin was killed in East Baton Rouge Parish earlier in the week and his body was then dumped in Iberville Parish.