St. Landry sheriff said man died as he attacked sleeping woman

St. Landry Parish investigators are awaiting the results of an autopsy that could explain why a man died last week as they say he wielded a cane knife and attacked a woman in her home.

Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said Monday that Phillip Manuel, 52, of Opelousas, died early Thursday after he broke into a Story Lane home and attacked the woman as she slept.

The victim, who was not identified, currently is in stable condition and recovering from her wounds, Guidroz said.

Guidroz said the victim reported the attack at 1:38 a.m. Thursday.

“The victim advised detectives that she was awakened by a (man) attacking her with a cane knife,” Guidroz said. “While the victim was trying to escape, the suspect rolled over and became unconscious.”

The woman ran to a neighbor’s home to call police, who found Manuel lying face-down on the floor. He was pronounced dead at the scene, Guidroz said.

“There were no visible signs of trauma that would have caused his death,” he said.

Manuel’s body underwent an autopsy at the Lafayette Forensics Center later that day, Thursday.

Guidroz said the autopsy results are pending.