Lemoine’s family had his body exhumed on Jan. 30 to have a second autopsy performed. Lemoine’s body was originally found on Aug. 9, 2010, in the Charenton Canal, said daughter Denise Bailey, who is one of Lemoine’s 11 children.
Lemoine’s body was recently taken to Birmingham, Ala., to have a second autopsy performed.
The family is now offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for Lemoine’s death and has been posting fliers throughout the area.
“For the last two and a half years, it’s been nothing but a nightmare, from the day his body was found until now. We have gotten no answers from the sheriff’s department,” Bailey said.
She said the family has been frustrated with the sheriff’s office investigation and said Sheriff Mark Hebert and District Attorney Phil Haney told the family they could view the casino video tapes from the night 60-year-old Lemoine disappeared, but have not been allowed to see them yet, Bailey said.
St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Traci Landry said, for open investigations, the sheriff’s office does not release information, even to the family.
“We’re searching for any help we can get. We don’t know where else to turn,” Bailey said.
The family hired private investigator John Abdella of Lafayette in October to conduct a separate investigation from the sheriff’s investigation of the case. Abdella said a written report from the autopsy has not come back yet, but he and the family were told verbally that there were indications of trauma on the body.
St. Mary Parish Coroner F.H. Metz ruled the cause of death undetermined after the first autopsy was performed.
Landry said the case is active and was never closed, which was because of the determination of the coroner. “The sheriff’s office was actively looking for anyone with any information on anything that they might have seen that night,” Landry said. “And we still are, essentially, if anybody wants to come forward if they remember anything.”
Bailey said Lemoine’s phone records show that calls were made from his phone 45 minutes after sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene of the 911 call where Lemoine’s car was found in a ditch on U.S. 90 East near the casino. His body was found two days later in the Charenton Canal.
Lemoine’s car was found in a ditch along U.S. 90, 2.5 miles from where his body was found, Bailey said.
Abdella spoke with a woman who said she talked to Lemoine after his car got stuck in a ditch about a mile from the casino. “She talked to him, and he said he was OK, that he was using his cell phone. He was going to make some phone calls,” Abdella said. By the time sheriff’s deputies arrived on the scene about 10 minutes later, Lemoine had left the scene, Abdella said. It was extremely dark outside during those early morning hours, and the woman did not see Lemoine leave the scene, he said.
“But as we understand it, two women saw him a few minutes later. He was walking down Highway 90 east going toward Franklin. The next thing we know, they found his body in the Charenton Canal,” he said.
Abdella asks anyone who may have information surrounding Lemoine’s death, to contact him at 337-235-0270. Callers can remain anonymous.