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EBR Coroner: DNA results will be needed to ID body found near Gross Tete

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BATON ROUGE - The East Baton Rouge Coroner's Office says DNA results from the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab will be needed to determine whether or not a body found near Grosse Tete belongs to missing school administrator Lyntell Washington.

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Results of the autopsy were released by the coroner just before 3 p.m. on Wednesday after the body was found on Tuesday morning. The coroner confirmed the woman was pregnant at the time of her death and died from a gunshot wound to the head, but further DNA analysis by State Police will be necessary to complete the identification due to the advanced state of decomposition in which the body was found.

Baton Rouge Police are actively working a missing person’s case involving Washington, and the Iberville Parish Coroner’s Office had reason to believe the deceased person may be her. The EBR Parish Coroner’s Office took possession of the recovered remains in order to perform an autopsy on Wednesday.

Baton Rouge Police and the EBR Coroner were on hand on Tuesday afternoon when a woman’s body was found by workers in an Iberville Parish sugarcane field earlier that day. Deputies had just searched the area nearby as authorities looked to locate Washington who had been missing since Thursday, June 9.

During a press conference at the site on Tuesday, police could only confirm that the badly decomposed body was that of a female. The autopsy, along with DNA testing, will be necessary to confirm that the body belongs to Washington.

Authorities began their search for Washington on Thursday, June 9 when her 3-year-old daughter was located wandering around alone in a parking lot. Her mother’s abandoned vehicle was found nearby with blood inside.

On the following day, police took 39-year-old Robert Marks into custody on aggravated kidnapping and desertion of a child charges. Marks is employed as assistant principal at the same school where Washington worked, Brookstown Middle Magnet Academy in Baton Rouge.

Police have said their investigation revealed Marks and Washington were romantically involved and that Washington was seven months pregnant with his child. Marks is married to another woman.

Investigators were able to narrow their search for Washington down to an area around Ramah after they used cellphone records to indicate Washington and Marks had both been in the area before traveling to where the woman’s car was eventually found in Baton Rouge. Deputies and State Police searched into Friday evening when they suspended the search around 6 p.m. The decomposed body was discovered near Rosedale at around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Check back with WBRZ.com for updates as they become available.

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