Update, 9:38 a.m.: Frank Garcia, the second suspect in the murders of Denis and Suzane Duplantier, is in the custody of Baton Rouge Police and will be transported from Florida to Louisiana today, said department spokesman Cpl. Don Coppola.
The deadline to extradite the second suspect in the slaying of a Baton Rouge couple could be as early as Tuesday, according to a Florida Sheriff’s Office memo.
Frank Garcia, 48, is “ready for immediate pickup” from the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, jail where he’s being held on two counts each of first-degree murder and kidnapping, wrote Teresa Brunner in a Broward County Sheriff’s Office memorandum to the Baton Rouge Police Department dated Nov. 23.
“Please have your transport pick subject up no later than Dec. 8, 2015,” the notice says.
Brunner did not respond to a request for comment Monday.
Kristi Grimm, a spokeswoman for the Broward County State’s Attorney, said according to her office, Louisiana has until Dec. 23 to move Garcia, but noted the Sheriff’s Office may have different deadlines.
Baton Rouge police spokesman Cpl. Don Coppola said he was not immediately able to confirm the date Garcia will be transported to Louisiana.
Garcia, whose name is sometimes logged in official documents as Garcia-Llerena, is expected to join an inmate in Parish Prison who police say is his accomplice in the slayings of Denis and Suzanne Duplantier. They were found strangled to death in their pickup at a Hammond truck stop in October.
Ernesto Llerena Alonso, 42, the first man arrested in the killings, is being held without bail on two counts of first-degree murder, and was assigned a $30,000 bail on two kidnapping counts, East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s spokeswoman Casey Rayborn Hicks said Monday. The arrangement means Alonso does not have the option of bailing out of jail, she said.
The Duplantiers, both in their 70s, were discovered slain Oct. 19 in the back seat of their truck after they’d been reported missing by their children, according to a Baton Rouge police warrant in the case.
The children noticed a safe inside their parents’ house at 5020 Highland Road in Baton Rouge was left open, with “a large amount of money” missing, the report says. Denis “Bubbie” Duplantier’s truck was also gone.
Police believe Alonso, who was a landscaper for the Duplantiers and lived above a barn on their property, beat his employers until they allowed him access to the safe, according to a warrant. He then strangled the couple, who were discovered bound, and transported them with Garcia to the Hammond truck stop, police allege. The gas station’s surveillance footage of two additional vehicles, along with cell tower evidence, linked Alonso and Garcia to the crime. It’s unclear the exact role Garcia played in the couple’s death.
Alonso and Garcia, who are thought to be related, were found at Garcia’s residence in Hollywood, Florida.
Garcia signed a waiver Nov. 23 saying he would not fight extradition.