GRAMERCY — A multi-agency waterborne search for a Vacherie man who jumped from the Veterans Memorial Bridge Tuesday into the Mississippi River 165 feet below was called off early Friday evening, Louisiana State Police reported.
Kylan M. Laurent, 22, is now a wanted suspect in three Jefferson Parish attacks on women, two of which were fatal, and investigators have early hints that there could be many more victims, sheriff’s deputies reported.
The three victims identified so far have criminal histories or are otherwise suspected of being involved in prostitution and Laurent is believed to have made initial contact with them through Internet postings.
The connection to the three attacks was established in part through belongings taken from the victims, including cellphones, that were found in Laurent’s car or in two St. James Parish homes, Jefferson Parish sheriff’s deputies said.
The car was left parked on the bridge after he jumped Tuesday.
Sheriff’s deputies disclosed in a statement Friday that they found 22 cellphones in all, have determined who owns one of those phones and are trying to determine if the 21 other cellphones belong to other unknown victims.
Arrest warrants have been issued for Laurent in the three attacks, two from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and one from the Kenner Police Department, authorities have said.
Laurent also is a suspect in crimes in Baton Rouge, although Baton Rouge police have not released information about those cases.
The now-closed active grid search for Laurent on the Mississippi, which is a systematic way of checking the surface of the water, had been under way since Tuesday afternoon.
Laurent had jumped from the bridge while being pursued by state troopers earlier that day, troopers said.
With the closure of the search, all river traffic has been informed about Laurent, troopers said.
Trooper Russell Graham II, spokesman for State Police Troop A, said the halted search does not mean that Laurent is presumed to be dead.
A command post that had been set up at the foot of the bridge also has been shut, troopers said.
Graham said all the agencies involved in the investigations continue to maintain communications about the case.