Tangipahoa Parish investigators are deliberately keeping details of a Sunday night double homicide away from the public as they comb through tips about who might’ve killed the mother and son.
As of Wednesday night, the Sheriff’s Office had not made any arrests or named suspects in the slayings of Daytra Miller, 45, and Robert West Jr., 13. The two were found shot to death in their home, at the corner of Fontana Road and Labruzza Lane in Independence around 6:30 p.m.
TPSO spokeswoman Dawn Panepinto said Wednesday that authorities are deliberately not revealing many details about the slayings — including specific details on what happened, if anyone else was in the home at the time, and any possible motive.
When initially reported Monday, authorities said it was believed the assailant or assailants knew the victims, but Panepinto said Wednesday investigators are casting a wider net to seek any and all information about what could've happened.
“At this point for investigative purposes, we’re accepting any information anyone has about shots being fired in the area,” she said, adding that investigators have been working on the case around-the-clock since Sunday. She said the agency has received multiple tips from the public which are now being verified.
The double homicide has left many in the community seeking answers about what happened, and led TPSO to announce a $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Sheriff Daniel Edwards said anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers at 800-554-5245.
The principal at Tangi Academy, the charter school Robert attended, issued a statement Monday about the 7th grader who “always put others before himself.”
“He was a kind, gentle, helpful and caring young man who always put others before himself,” principal Jackie Wilson wrote, going on to say Robert wanted to grow up to be a professional fisherman.
Wilson urged parents to talk to their children about grief, and said the school will make counseling and bereavement services available to the school community.
The statement was shared on Facebook by one of Robert’s teachers, who also wrote a tribute to the boy.
Kristian Polk Usey says in the post that Robert was a mentor for younger children, a football and basketball player, and gave the best hugs.
“He was everything you’d want your son to be,” Polk Usey wrote.