Louisiana State Police reported Wednesday afternoon their detectives are “positive” that a man’s body found in the Mississippi River near Norco is that of Kylan M. Laurent, 22, who jumped off the Veterans Memorial Bridge into the river near Gramercy on Aug. 23.
State Police spokesman Russell Graham of Troop A said Laurent’s autopsy had been completed in New Orleans, but positive identification of the body by the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office awaits results of further testing.
Earlier, Wednesday, Kenner detectives tentatively identified the body as that of the Vacherie man suspected in the attacks of a number of women, a St. Charles Parish sheriff’s spokesman said.
Laurent had leaped off the Veterans Memorial Bridge as state troopers pursued him in a high-speed chase.
Capt. Patrick Yoes, spokesman for the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office, said Laurent had a number of tattoos, and the tattoos on the body matched Laurent’s.
“They were all consistent with the tattoos of Kylan Laurent,” Yoes said.
“We believe it may be him, but we are waiting on the autopsy,” said Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway.
Warrants were issued for Laurent late last week in the strangulation or asphyxiation of two women believed to have been prostitutes and a choking attack on a third woman that left her unconscious.
The attacks this month were at motels in Harvey, Metairie and the city of Kenner.
Since then, authorities found 22 cellphones in Laurent’s car and residences, leading officials to investigate the possibility there are more victims.
Laurent also was a person of interest in crimes in Baton Rouge, though not in any known homicides, authorities have said.
Yoes said Laurent’s relatives had been notified of the tentative identification of Laurent’s remains.
Yoes said the body had decomposed after being in the water more than a week.
Valero Refinery employees spotted the body floating at 8:19 a.m. Wednesday about 75 yards from the refinery dock, sheriff’s deputies said in a news release.
Port of South Louisiana and refinery security employees secured and pulled the body from the river. Refinery officials called the sheriff, deputies said.
The discovery came days after officials halted an intensive search on the river for Laurent.