UPDATE: THREE arrested after human remains found in Vernon Paris - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

UPDATE: THREE arrested after human remains found in Vernon Parish

Posted: Updated:
Cassandra Ward Cassandra Ward
Jose Ayala Jose Ayala
Victim: James Stephens Victim: James Stephens
Matthew Andrews Matthew Andrews

VERNON PARISH, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - Sheriff Sam Craft of the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office announces the July 3, 2014 arrest of Jose Israel Ayala III, 24, of Leesville, and Cassandra Ward, 22, of Leesville.The arrests are the result of a three month investigation into the disappearance of James Stephens of Rosepine, Louisiana.The Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the Polly Klaas Foundation Search Team, to include cadaver dogs, located human remains in an area on Highway 1211 in Vernon Parish.

The remains are believed to be those of James Stephens.

Jose Israel Ayala III has been arrested and charged with one count of Second Degree Murder. Bond has been set on Ayala at $ 250,000.00. Ayala remains in the Vernon Parish Jail at the time of this release.

Cassandra Ward has been arrested and charged with one count of Second Degree Murder. Bond has been set on Ward at $ 200,000.00. Ward remains in the Vernon Parish Jail at the time of this release.

UPDATE: 

A New Llano resident has been arrested in connection with the death of James Stephens.

According to Sheriff Sam Craft, Matthew Andrews, 28 years of age of New Llano, has been arrested and charged with Accessory after the fact to second degree murder. Matthews was booked into the Vernon Parish Jail and his bond has been set at $75,000.

As for the remains that were discovered, the Vernon Parish Coroner’s Office has taken them to the “Faces” Laboratory at LSU for identification purposes. It is estimated that it can take as many as 2 to 3 month’s to obtain a confirmation on the identification.

 
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