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Cordaryle ORG XMIT: dmYBvV9P0C3xYR2B1fBB

When Cordaryle Robert failed to return to his Slidell home Saturday morning after his Friday night shift at the AWG grocery warehouse in Pearl River, his fiancee, Jalesa Lewis, thought he was “messing up again,” she said.

Robert had gotten into the habit of coming straight home from work. He had grown up a lot, she said, but she was worried that he might have lapsed into his old ways of going to New Orleans on his off-hours.

She called his mobile phone, but the call went straight to voice mail. She contacted his mother, who had not heard from him. But it was when he didn’t show up at his job that her concern turned to fear. “It’s not like him to miss work,” she said.

On Sunday she learned that his Cadillac SUV had been found burned in Lafourche Parish, and police began to suspect foul play.

Late Wednesday morning, a passerby called the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office to report a body face-down in the drainage ditch along Peters Drive in Harvey. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office found the partially submerged body on the east side of the road in the 4100 block, according to Col. John Fortunato.

She and other family members went to the morgue, where the 25-year-old’s body was identified by his tattoos.

The Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office has classified the death as a homicide.

Lewis, 26, said she is at a loss to explain why anyone would have killed Robert.

The couple was planning to get married next year, although Robert wanted to buy a house first. They have three children, girls ages 3 and 4 and a 6-year-old son. Lewis also has an 8-year-old son whom Robert has helped raise. They became a couple when her oldest was just 2 months old.

“He loved his kids; he loved his cars,” she said, describing Robert as “funny, a sweet person, loving — all of the above.”

Follow Sara Pagones on Twitter, @spagonesadvocat.

Follow Sara Pagones on Twitter, @spagonesadvocat.