Body found in river May 12 identified

A body found floating in the Mississippi River two weeks earlier has been identified as a 27-year-old man from Houma.

Anthony Ferguson’s body was recovered after a lengthy effort May 12 near Port Sulphur, Plaquemines Parish Sheriff Lonnie Greco said.

Ferguson’s identity had eluded authorities for weeks. The corpse was found in a state of extreme decomposition, and police initially had little to go on other than a macabre tattoo of a skull found on the man’s chest. But the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab was able to use DNA to positively identify Ferguson on May 27.

Ferguson’s car had been found abandoned on the Crescent City Connection on March 11. A State Police spokeswoman would not speculate about whether Ferguson committed suicide but said foul play was not suspected in his death.

Ferguson was a former Marine convicted of aggravated sexual assault and pornography involving a minor in 2010. He was released in 2013.

State Police could not immediately say whether DNA collected during Ferguson’s period in custody was used to identify his body.

According to the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office sex offender registry, Ferguson had one other identifying mark on his body, aside from the tattoo: Cuts on his skin spelled out “forgive me.”

Slidell police nab suspected puppy thief

Officers Wednesday arrested a woman suspected of stealing a toy poodle from a pet store earlier that day, according to the Slidell Police Department.

Stephanie Orso, 29, was arrested at her home about 5:45 p.m.

The arrest was made shortly after a police officer pulled Orso over for an unrelated traffic stop. At the time of the stop, the officer, Sgt. Cliff Laigast, was unaware of the theft at the Double M Feed Store.

After releasing Orso from the traffic stop, Laigast was notified about a woman in a red Toyota who was suspected of stealing a toy poodle. Laigast had observed a small dog in Orso’s car and that the red Toyota Solara she was driving matched the description of the vehicle used by the pet store thief.

Having obtained Orso’s address during the traffic stop, officers went there.

After a brief interview, Orso admitted to the theft, and the puppy was safely recovered from a closet where she had tried to hide it, police said.

Orso was arrested and taken to the Slidell jail.

Police seek N.O. East murder suspect

Police have identified a suspect in a murder that happened one year ago in New Orleans East.

Police said they have obtained a warrant for the arrest of Brian Thomas, 28, in the May 27, 2014, murder of Floyd Batiste in the 4500 block of Skyview Drive. Batiste died at the scene about 6 p.m.

Police Department spokesman Officer Juan Barnes said detectives were able to connect Thomas to the crime, but he did not elaborate on how.

Police in June issued a photograph of a white sedan that may have been involved in the crime.

Man arrested after woman is stabbed

New Orleans police said they quickly apprehended a man who stabbed a woman in the 1300 block of Elysian Fields Avenue about 11 p.m. Tuesday.

Armond Hall, 26, held up the woman with a razor and stole her purse, police said. While grabbing her arm, Hall cut it with the razor, police said.

Hall was found hiding under a home in the 2000 block of Pauger Street. He was booked on counts of armed robbery and aggravated battery.

Bridge City store robbed overnight

An armed robbery occurred at the Brother’s convenience store in Bridge City, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office reported about 3 a.m. Thursday.

Three car thefts reported in three hours

Three different crimes within three hours of one another left victims without their vehicles, according to New Orleans police.

About 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, three men who had parked their car in the 1500 block of Iberville Street were approached by three unknown males. One of the unknown men had a gun and demanded the victims’ property and car keys. All three victims complied, and the robbers fled in the vehicle.

Another carjacking took place about 12:30 a.m. Thursday in the 1000 block of North White Street. A 47-year-old man was approached by an unknown male with a gun who demanded the victim’s car. The victim complied, and the perpetrator fled with the vehicle.

About 1:15 a.m., a 56-year-old man pulled up to his residence in the 100 block of David Street when two unknown men emerged from the rear of his house.

The robbers followed the victim inside his house, sprayed him with tear gas, tied him up and ransacked his house, police said. They then fled the site in the victim’s vehicle.