Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies investigating the slaying of a 19-year-old Darrow man said Friday they are looking for a white extended cab pickup truck seen Monday afternoon driving away from the victim’s residence.
Darren Keith Smylie Jr., 19, 39068 Venus Ave., Darrow, was found shot to death in his home when his father returned from work about 5 p.m. Monday, sheriff’s deputies have said.
Deputies said they are also offering up to a $1,000 reward for information leading an arrest of the person responsible for the murder of Smylie.
A neighbor reported seeing the pickup, a 1994 to 2004 Chevrolet S-10 or GMC Sonoma, leave the Smylie family’s residence in Astroland subdivision between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Monday, sheriff’s Chief Deputy Tony Bacala said.
Bacala said the truck’s time of departure is close to the broad period of time during which Smylie is believed to have been killed.
Autopsy results remain incomplete as of Friday, Bacala said.
The neighbor did not provide a description of anyone inside the truck or a license plate number, Bacala said, but reported the truck had a dark-colored pin stripe down the side, located above the black molding.
The rear and side windows are also tinted, Bacala said.
The truck is the latest bit of information to emerge from the slaying of Smylie, a longshoreman and St. Amant High School graduate with aspirations of becoming a rapper and disc jockey.
Visitation for Smylie is scheduled from 9 a.m. Saturday in Hopeful Triumph Baptist Church in Darrow until religious services at noon. Burial will be in the church cemetery, according to an obituary.
Bacala said investigators continue to work leads but have not determined a suspect or motive. Many of Smylie’s immediate and extended family live in his Darrow neighborhood.
The pickup truck tip emerged as a result of investigators’ canvass of the neighborhood, Bacala said.
He said the person in the truck does not appear to be any of Smylie’s usual companions or acquaintances, but Bacala cautioned against inferring whether someone connected to the truck is actually tied to the slaying.
“It may be somebody who was involved; it may not be somebody who was involved,” Bacala said.
He said investigators are also continuing to look into Smylie’s use of social media and his criminal history.
Smylie had gotten into scrapes with the law in Ascension Parish since mid-2009, according to court minutes.
On Nov. 15, he pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of aggravated battery and to felony possession of marijuana and was given a deferred six-month prison sentence on each count.
Smylie had been arrested on March 10, 2010, on counts of illegal carrying of a weapon and felony marijuana possession, records show.
In March, Smylie had paid off fines assessed with his sentence and, at the time of his death, was under one year of supervised probation.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office at (225) 621-4636 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.