Man booked in shooting death of missing Walker resident

A 23-year-old Denham Springs man has been arrested in the fatal shooting of a Walker man whose body was found in Blind River on Thursday, the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office reported Saturday.

Joshua M. Mitchell, no permanent address, was booked Saturday with second-degree murder in the death of 26-year-old Brandon Steele Parnell, Livingston Parish Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Lori Steele said in a news release.

A joint investigation by the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office and the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office determined Parnell was shot once in the head at close range before his body was dumped into the Blind River Canal near U.S. 61, just north of Gramercy.

Homicide detectives theorize Parnell, who lived on Buddy Gill Road in Walker, was slain in Livingston Parish the night of Feb. 25 and that his body was then dumped in Blind River Canal in the early morning hours of Feb. 26.

Detectives from both agencies, with the assistance of Louisiana State Police, talked to possible witnesses who were believed to have information concerning Parnell’s death, Steele said.

Mitchell’s bail for the second-degree murder count has been set at $500,000, Steele said.

Deputies also booked Mitchell on outstanding warrants stemming from two counts of failure to register as a sex offender, one from Livingston Parish and one from East Baton Rouge Parish.

Mitchell was booked into the Livingston Parish Detention Center.

Detectives from both agencies conducted a joint investigation into Parnell’s death after a fisherman discovered Parnell’s body floating in the canal. Livingston Parish authorities had begun investigating Parnell’s disappearance as a missing person case before his body was discovered.

The investigation into Parnell’s death is ongoing.