Victim’s father feels some relief
“I know there was some more (people) involved. I don’t know if they did it, but they were around. They were bragging about it around the hood. But they wouldn’t say anything when the police came around.” Anthony spurlock, father of Wayne Thompson
It’s been 14 years since Anthony Spurlock began to hear rumors that his 19-year-old son had been shot to death.
For years he suspected his son was dead, but there was no body.
Spurlock said he knew that if his son was all right “he’d have called Daddy.”
Six years after Spurlock’s son’s disappearance, a hunter stumbled onto a skull near Robert and the subsequent search uncovered the body of Wayne Thompson, of Natalbany, in a shallow grave.
The finding of his son’s body was some relief to Spurlock, but not as much as the announcement by Tangipahoa Parish sheriff’s detectives last week that they had made an arrest in the case.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Spurlock said. He credits detective Mike Sticker with persistence in following the case from the beginning.
Spurlock said he first became worried in the spring of 1998 when his son didn’t drop by or call as he usually did.
“He was usually around just about every day,” said Spurlock, who was living in Hammond at the time.
He said he was close to his son, who liked to work on cars as his father did.
Spurlock’s worries compounded when he began to hear word on the street that his son had been killed.
The family believed the teenager was dead, but “we wanted to know where the body was,” he said.
Once it was found, Spurlock wanted justice.
Though pleased about last week’s arrest, Spurlock said he hopes to see more people behind bars in the death of his son.
“I know there was some more (people) involved,” Spurlock said. “I don’t know if they did it, but they were around.”
“They were bragging about it around the hood,” Spurlock said. “But they wouldn’t say anything when the police came around.”
Now some of them are talking to investigators, he said.
Last week, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office announced that it had booked Ronnie Saulsberry, 32, of Sims Lane in Tickfaw, on second-degree murder in the case.
Saulsberry was already in prison on possession of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, according to Pam Laborde, of the Department of Corrections.
He had served time previously on aggravated battery and aggravated assault with a firearm, Laborde said.
Dawn Panepinto, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office, said she doesn’t know if investigators will make more arrests in the case.
Thompson disappeared after a dice game on Saw Mill Road in Natalbany in April 1998, and he may have robbed other people in order to purchase drugs, the Sheriff’s Office reported.
Spurlock said he thinks drugs were involved, but doesn’t believe his son robbed anybody.
“He was a nice kid,” Spurlock said. “He would do anything he could for anybody.”
“He got in with the wrong people, and did the wrong things,” Spurlock said of his son’s drug use.
“Still, we was a good-hearted kid ’til the day he died,” his father said.