Investigators identify body found in Iberville Parish

Tony Rodriguez Jr.
Tony Rodriguez Jr.

A body found Wednesday afternoon along the Rocky Canal in a remote part of Iberville Parish has been positively identified as a missing man reported shot during an armed robbery Tuesday in Assumption Parish, the Assumption sheriff said.

Sheriff Mike Waguespack reported in a news release that the body is Tony Rodriguez Jr., 23, 1452 La. 1, Thibodaux.

Assumption Parish sheriff’s detectives have been searching for Rodriguez and another victim of the armed robbery and shooting Tuesday in an abandoned Belle Rose house that was later set on fire, deputies have said.

A caller, the other reported victim, told deputies Rodriguez was shot in the head during the robbery, deputies said.

Waguespack said Thursday Rodriguez appears to have been shot in the upper chest area, adding an autopsy is scheduled Friday with the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office.

“No suspects have been named nor have any arrests been made as of the time of this release,” the sheriff reported Thursday.

The body later identified as Rodriguez’s was spotted by someone fishing about 5 p.m. along Rocky Canal on the west bank of Iberville Parish between Donaldsonville and White Castle. The area is near the Ascension Parish line.

The Sheriff’s Office had received a 911 call from a man reporting that someone had just stolen his vehicle and that his friend was shot during a robbery Tuesday, deputies said.

During an investigation that followed the 911 call, detectives learned that the victims had become lost while driving down La. 998 in Belle Rose.

At one point, two men brandishing guns stepped in front of the victims’ vehicle, deputies said.

The victims were forced out of their car and into a nearby abandoned home.

A fight ensued and shots were fired, deputies said the caller told them. One of the victims fell to the ground with what was described as a gunshot to the head, deputies said.

The other victim was able to get away and run to a nearby business to call for help, deputies said.

The subsequent fire set in the house where the shooting happened caused extensive damage but not body was found, deputies said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (985) 526-1627 or (985) 369-2912.

Callers may remain anonymous.