Driving around Livingston Parish with three barrels of body parts in the back of a Cadillac Escalade, Robert Taylor considered stopping at the Walker Police Department and telling officers about his gruesome cargo.
Instead, he took the three blue-and-black containers he had used previously during his work with a Boy Scout troop to an isolated area off Hood Road and left Michael Neufeld's remains there, according to recently filed police reports.
Taylor is one of six people criminally charged with killing Neufeld, whose body was found in nine parts July 22. A coroner's report indicates the 26-year-old father died of two gunshot wounds to the head and thigh, along with "sharp force injuries."
A grand jury on Tuesday indicted two men suspected of killing and dismembering an Ascension Parish man and leaving his body parts stuffed insi…
The police documents, on file at the Livingston Parish Clerk of Court's office, rely on interviews with witnesses and suspects, as well as examination of physical evidence, to chronicle the killing and cover-up. The accounts include some particularly gruesome details about the crime.
Neufeld was reported missing after borrowing his mom's Jeep Wrangler on June 30 and leaving her house in Ascension Parish with a friend named Sage Palermo. For three weeks, few knew what had happened to Neufeld, but the case began to unfurl when Ascension Parish deputies arrested Palermo on an unrelated bench warrant July 20. Palermo said he had information about Neufeld's death.
Palermo told deputies the trouble began when he and Neufeld traveled to a Walmart in Tangipahoa Parish to pick up his daughter's mother. The woman, Nancy Logarbo, was with her new boyfriend Duane Bissell, and they asked Neufeld to drive them to Taylor's "man cave" on Evelyn Drive in Walker.
The four stopped there and hung out with several others in the garage, where drugs were found during a later police search. Martin Morgan, known as "Fish," was pacing back and forth with one or two handguns and staring at Neufeld.
At some point, Neufeld jumped up towards Morgan, who shot him twice. Palermo told police that Neufeld fell over but was still breathing.
A body found dismembered in a wooded area of Livingston Parish this week was that of an Ascension Parish man reported missing in early July.
"Sage stated that he begged to call 911 to get some help for Michael, but other subjects there would not allow it," according to one of the documents filed in the case. "Sage stated that Duane (Bissell) then got a large knife and cut Michael's throat."
Morgan left with his girlfriend, Cheyenne Smith, and Bissell said he would take care of the body.
Bissell moved the corpse into a garbage can and then into a plastic kiddie pool, where Bissell dismembered the body and placed the remains into three blue barrels with black lids.
Taylor, meanwhile, said he took various bloody items out back, poured gasoline on them and burned them. The next morning, Morgan returned to the house and insisted Taylor dispose of the remains.
Morgan and Bissell were later arrested on charges unrelated to Neufeld's death; by the time authorities connected them to what happened on Evelyn Drive, they were already in jail. Investigative reports said a gun seized when Morgan was arrested was later connected to a bullet found in Neufeld's leg.
Neither Bissell nor Morgan was willing to speak with police, according to police reports. Bissell "laughed at detectives and stated that we were telling him a funny story then requested an attorney," a police report says.
After police arrived to conduct a search warrant at Taylor's house on July 22, Taylor led detectives to the wooded spot where the barrels were found.
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Inside those barrels, investigators discovered the dismembered remains, as well as one handsaw, one hacksaw and two knives, all with "small pieces of biological small tissues," according to a coroner's report.
Bissell and Morgan have been indicted on charges of second-degree murder and pleaded not guilty. An attorney for Bissell could not be reached for comment Friday. An attorney for Morgan declined to comment.
Taylor is charged with accessory to second-degree murder, obstruction by tampering with evidence and unlawful disposal of remains. He was released from jail on bond but subsequently rearrested on Oct. 31 on drug and firearm possession charges.
Logarbo and William Byars, who were both allegedly at the home during the murder, are charged with accessory to second-degree murder.
During a probable cause hearing last month, a detective said Byars reportedly proposed dumping the body on his family property, although there is no evidence of a connection between Byars and the dumping site off Hood Road.
Logarbo has been released by a judge to a drug treatment facility.
Tony Kile Jr. is charged with obstruction of justice and theft of a motor vehicle.
All of those charged have pleaded not guilty.
Palermo has not been charged in relation to the killing, nor have Cheyenne Smith or another person, Ashton Hanchey, arrested during the initial roundup in July.