Human Remains Found in Natchitoches - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Human Remains Found in Natchitoches

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NATCHITOCHES, LA.- A body was discovered--inside a boat---parked alongside a busy road, that many people passed by every day. News Channel 5's Rachael Penton has the latest on the investigation.

Along a normally quiet, but busy street in Natchitoches, shoppers at Super Stop grocery store have had a lot to talk about this week.

"It was in the newspaper. They found him with a sheet over him like he was sleeping so I don't know if it was natural causes or someone done him something," says shopper Reginald Benjamin.

That's because the police were recently sent here in response to a call from the owner of the grocery store...who told them he had discovered human remains.

Police say the remains were discovered here--inside this house boat located beside the store.

"It's possible that it was a missing person from this area. The remains have been sent to the crime lab in Baton Rouge," says Stephen Rachal of the Natchitoches Police Department.

All they will confirm right now, is that the body is that of an unidentified male who investigators believe had been dead for several months.

The cause of death is still under investigation. Police say while it's possible that the man could have died from natural causes, they are treating the case as a homicide until proven otherwise.....standard procedure for the department.

"Any human remains we find, we investigate it as it could be anything including a homicide, anything down to a missing person," says Rachal.

Shoppers say they are surprised that the remains were found inside this boat, right there out in the open....but add that they're not surprised that it took so long for the body to be discovered in this busy area. They believe that the smells from the local seafood shop next door may have covered up the smell of the decaying body.

"When I come up here that's mainly what I smell is fish, you know what I'm saying? I think it may have submerged the smell a little bit. I guarantee if they didn't have that fish market out here you'd have been able to smell it. The smell would have come out," says shopper Quinston Ficklin.

For now all that residents can do is wait for the investigation to be completed, to find out just who this man was and what happened to him.

Police say they hope to have a cause of death soon, so that they can determine who this man is and notify any family members.

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