Joshua Roques was a model tenant who always paid his rent on time and hadn’t generated any complaints, according to his landlord.
But according to Slidell police, Roques was keeping various occult ritual items in his house, including two human skulls, other human bones and animal remains. Officers also found dried blood and a small trap at the house, leading them to say Thursday they believed Roques was sacrificing animals there.
The news came as a shock to his landlord, who asked not to be identified by name. “We never had any problems. This is crazy,” he said.
The landlord said he had met Roques twice: when he showed him the small ranch-style house near Pontchartrain Drive in south Slidell and when Roques signed the lease in November.
Slidell Police Department spokesman Sgt. Daniel Seuzeneau said Roques had been arrested within the past two weeks on an allegation of domestic violence.
When police went to serve a search warrant Tuesday evening, he had fled in his silver 2004 Infiniti sedan, and police have been unable to find him. They think he may have left the state.
When deputies entered the house, they found two human skulls and other bones in a large cast iron pot as well as other “ritualistic” items, Seuzeneau said.
The bones appeared to have been collected from a grave, he said.
The collected bones were given to the Coroner’s Office and turned over to the LSU Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services lab, where technicians will try to identify them. The Coroner’s Office will perform DNA testing.
The discovery was the second revelation of bone collecting in the New Orleans area this week. Ender Darling, a self-described witch who posted on Facebook about going to a cemetery in New Orleans to collect bones after they floated to the surface during rainstorms, detailed being raided by investigators from the Attorney General’s Office. Darling has since moved to Florida.
It is unknown whether there is any connection between Darling and Roques.
Follow Faimon A. Roberts III on Twitter, @faimon.