The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested two men over the weekend and is seeking a third in a May 4 break-in during which two masked men held a 9-year-old boy, his mother and three adult family members for two hours in their Covington home while demanding money.
The arrests came a little more than a week after the home’s owner, orthopedic surgeon Mario Zelaya, made an emotional appeal for public help in catching those responsible, saying the crime had shattered his family’s sense of security.
The Sheriff’s Office arrested Beau Ledoux, 20, of Sun, and Chris Allo, 34, of Covington, over the weekend. Ledoux was booked with one count of home invasion and one count of motor vehicle theft. Allo, whom the Sheriff’s Office said planned the crime, was booked with one count of criminal conspiracy. Bond for each was set at $250,000.
Investigators are looking for a third man, 27-year-old Jonathan “Coffee” Hudson, 200 Nottingham Lane, Slidell. Hudson is described as a white male, 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighing 220 pounds. He has an extensive criminal history involving burglary and theft, the Sheriff’s Office said, and is believed to be armed and dangerous.
Zelaya described the assailants as cowards who had tied up his oldest son, leaving his wife, Susana, in fear for his life. His son has been jumpy and nervous since, he said. “My wife wakes up every single morning trembling.’’
The men took jewelry, multiple firearms and a small amount of cash, according to the Sheriff’s Office. They also took Susana Zelaya’s late-model Mercedes-Benz, which was abandoned in Pearl River.
Sheriff’s Office detectives, working with Louisiana Office of Probation and Parole agents, zeroed in on Ledoux as one of the men who broke into the Zelayas’ home in the River Oaks subdivision on May 4.
Deputies took Ledoux into custody at his home without incident Saturday afternoon, the Sheriff’s Office said, and Ledoux admitted his role during questioning by detectives. Allo then was taken into custody at his home on Monga Drive.
Investigators determined that Allo arranged and planned the crime, while Ledoux and Hudson were in the home during the incident, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Sheriff Jack Strain said dozens of deputies and detectives worked the case.
“This was a very challenging case, but through hard work and determination, justice will be served for the victims and their family,” Strain said.
The Zelaya family raised money for a $40,000 reward through Crimestoppers, the largest ever offered in St. Tammany. A tip to Crimestoppers did not directly lead to arrests in the case, but Strain said it generated significant interest throughout the region.
The Zelaya family, who moved to Covington from their native Honduras about a year ago, returned to Honduras after the incident.