Poul Hansen portrait

Poul Hansen, via Facebook

A war veteran from Denmark who was vacationing in the United States with a group of fellow motorcycle riders was found fatally shot in New Orleans East over the weekend, officials said Tuesday. 

Poul Hansen, 44, died after being shot in the head and back. His body was discovered in the 4200 block of America Street about 6 a.m. Saturday, according to the Police Department. 

Hansen was shot near his hotel, and his belongings turned up missing, which made his loved ones suspect that he died at the hands of a robber, said Mads Pramming, an attorney in Denmark for Hansen's family. 

Hansen was traveling across the United States on his motorcycle with a group of friends. 

Pramming said he had little information about the case but noted that Hansen was staying at a Super 8 motel when he was killed.

The motel is in the 6300 block of Chef Menteur Highway — part of an off-the-beaten-path area where tourists rarely go and which is often the scene of crimes. It is less than a half-mile from the site where Hansen's body was found.

New Orleans police haven't identified any suspects or a potential motive in the case. 

News of Hansen's slaying first surfaced in Danish media reports on Tuesday. The reports said Hansen was reported missing Friday, and his family was informed of his death Monday. 

Hansen had served in the Danish army in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He is survived by a wife and two children, according to the Danish reports.

Pramming said he was working to get Hansen's body returned to Denmark so that he can be buried there.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday, a motorcycle riders group composed of Danish war veterans described Hansen as a member. An earlier post from the group, named Blood of Heroes, said fellow riders had shared dinner with Hansen shortly before he separated from the group and went missing. 

Blood of Heroes asked its members to join the club in supporting Hansen's family through its grief. 

There have been at least 50 homicides in New Orleans this year as of early Tuesday evening.

Anyone with information about Hansen's killing was asked to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111. Tipsters may be eligible for a cash reward.


Follow Ramon Antonio Vargas on Twitter, @RVargasAdvocate.