ALEXANDRIA, La. (WNTZ) – Rapides Parish Sheriff’s detectives have made two arrests in the LA Highway 1 North homicide investigation from last Thursday.
On April 20th, 2023, at approximately 10:36 AM, patrol deputies responded to the 6000 block of LA Hwy 1 North in reference to a report of a body being found in the ditch by an LA DOTD mowing crew. Deputies, Detectives and Crime Scene investigators responded and began conducting their investigation.
The deceased person has been identified as Rochaune L. Prenell, 42 of Alexandria, LA. The cause of death appears to be gunshot wounds, but autopsy report is still pending.
As their investigation continued into late Thursday night and the early hours of Friday morning, Detectives were able to identify Donald Ray Sias, Jr., 32 of Alexandria, as a person of interest in the homicide. From their investigation, Detectives were able to gather sufficient probable cause for a search warrant at a residence in the area of 1700 block Kilkenny Lane in Alexandria. Sias, Jr. was located and taken into custody without incident and placed under arrest for contempt on non-support and convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Sias, Jr. was later booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center on those charges.
From their continued investigation, Detectives were able to identify Otha Lee Tatum, Sr. as a second suspect in the homicide investigation. On April 24th, 2023, Tatum, Sr. was located and taken into custody without incident and booked into the Rapides Parish Detention Center on obstruction of justice and criminal conspiracy charges. Sias, Jr., who had remained in jail, was re-arrested and re-booked for one count carjacking, one count 2nd Degree Murder, one count criminal conspiracy, and one count obstruction of justice. Both Sias, Jr. and Tatum, Sr. remain in jail at the time of this release.
|Donald Ray Sias, Jr., 32||Contempt on non-support|
Convicted felon in possession of a firearm
2nd Degree Murder
Obstruction of Justice
|1723 Kilkenny Lane, Alexandria, LA|
|Otha Lee Tatum, Sr., 39||Obstruction of Justice|
|804 Bogan Street, Alexandria, LA|
Bond for Sias, Jr. has been set at $1,226,000.00 and bond for Tatum Sr. has been set at $125,000.00.
Detectives say this is still an active and ongoing investigation. If anyone has any information on this case, they are asked to contact Det. Jason Hagan at 318-473-6727, Crime Stoppers at 318-443-7867 or local law enforcement.
The Crime Stoppers P3 Tipster app may also be downloaded to leave tips and get a claim number for reward. P3 app: https://www.p3tips.com/community/mobile/index.htm
NOTE: Crime Stoppers is a private non-profit organization. Crime Stoppers is not a law enforcement agency.
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