A Lafayette man suspected in the early Wednesday morning fatal stabbing of a 47-year-old woman was found dead inside the dead woman’s vehicle following an apparent suicide that occurred later in the morning, an official said.
Law enforcement found Michael Denson, 47, dead inside Melissa Lair’s 2009 Mazda 3 at a rest area north of Washington on Interstate 49, according to a news release from the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Trooper Stephen Hammons, spokesman for State Police, said the vehicle was found between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. by the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force.
Denson’s cause of death has yet to be determined, Hammons said.
Capt. Craig Stansbury, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, said Denson is believed to have stabbed Lair several times in the upper body following a domestic argument inside Lair’s home at 108 Lamas Circle.
Denson then fled the scene in Lair’s vehicle, the release said.
“The type of relationship can only be confirmed as an acquaintance at this time,” Stansbury said in an email.
The Sheriff’s Office has no information about any previous incidents between the two people, Stansbury said.
The Sheriff’s Office was notified of the killing at 1:14 a.m. after an unidentified man found Lair unresponsive and bleeding on the floor of the residence upon returning home from work, Stansbury said.
Stansbury said investigators are not releasing the identity of the caller or his relationship to the woman, adding that the caller is not believed to be involved in the incident.
The investigation is ongoing, Stansbury said.