Baton Rouge police arrested a 34-year-old man who they said killed an Allstate financial representative during what was likely a robbery Aug. 22 on Great Smokey Avenue.

Police believe Daryel Johnson fatally shot 53-year-old Dale Sands multiple times during a robbery and then threatened to kill a witness and his family if he alerted police, said Sgt. Don Coppola, a Baton Rouge police spokesman.

The witness, nevertheless, reported hearing Johnson make a comment about moving a body while talking on the phone, Coppola said. Johnson then threatened to kill that witness and the witness's children if the witness told police about the conversation.

Investigators identified Johnson as a suspect after finding his fingerprints on a cigar wrapper in Sands' stolen truck, Coppola said.


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As detectives led Johnson in shackles to a vehicle to transport him to prison on Thursday afternoon, he hung his head and declined to answer a reporter's questions.

Johnson, of 9074 Great Smokey Ave., was booked into Parish Prison on first-degree murder, armed robbery, intimidating a witness and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Sands was reported missing Aug. 22 and his body was discovered the next afternoon by a child, Coppola said.

Krystal Williams, 37, said her 9-year-old son, who found the body in their backyard while playing football, thought the man was sleeping.

Coppola said Sands was found without his wallet, phone or keys. His truck was found on Aug. 24 with the cigar wrapper inside.

Police said Sands was believed to have been shot sometime Aug. 22 in the Oak Villa Boulevard and Great Smokey Avenue area.

“We’re unsure exactly where he was actually shot," Coppola said. "He was found behind the address on Great Smokey Avenue. … We believe that he was at this (nearby) park … and ended up with gunshot injuries at the address on Great Smokey Avenue."

Sands worked in several Allstate offices as a personal financial representative, selling life insurance and retirement benefits. Investigators believe Sands was working before he was killed.

"He may have been in between some kind of appointments that he may have had," Coppola said. "We believe he was doing something (at the park), either finishing up or preparing for another appointment that he may have had."

Follow Emma Discher on Twitter, @EmmaDischer.