Suspect beat the Duplantiers, license plate readers used to track accused killer
BATON ROUGE - Arrest documents paint a violent picture of what happened inside a murdered couple's Highland Road home sometime between Sunday and Monday.
In a warrant for Ernesto Alonso's arrest, the man identified earlier Wednesday as one of the suspects in the Duplantier's kidnapping and murder, beat Denis and Suzanne Duplantier until they opened their safe inside their home. Inside the safe was a large amount of money, investigators wrote in the arrest warrant. Police have said there were items missing from the safe when they and family arrived at the scene later. The warrant reports Alonso took the money from the safe. Police told the Associated Press, they believe the money has been located.
Relatives asked police to check on the Duplantiers Monday evening after going more than a day without hearing from them. When police arrived, they found the home unsecured and signs of trouble.
Alonso worked for the couple as a handyman, giving him free range of their home. Police believe there were no signs of forced entry because of his ability to move around the residence. Alonso was trusted enough that the Duplantiers allowed him to live on property they owned. Alonso's address is listed as 4950 Nicholson Drive.
Investigators appear to believe Alonso strangled the victims after getting access to the safe then brought their bodies to a truck stop in Hammond.
In news conferences and television interviews about the case, police have released marginal information but in the arrest warrant, wrote there was blood in multiple rooms of the home on Highland Road consistent with a physical confrontation. Detectives said they used video footage from the truck stop near I-12, witness statements, evidence in the truck Alonso was found driving and license plate readers to develop Alonso as a suspect.
The vehicles were seen traveling I-12 on the evening of October 18th.
In the arrest warrant, it appears the license plate readers tracked Alonso's moves. Police said he had been driving a white pick-up. The Duplantier's red pick-up, which was also reported missing, was tracked by the same technology. The vehicles traveled in close proximity down I-12, detectives wrote in the arrest warrant. OnStar tracking services were also used, police said in earlier reports.
Alonso was found in Hollywood, Florida, Wednesday. Police there said he was at an apartment complex a few miles from the beach. He was booked into jail on first degree murder and second degree kidnapping charges from Louisiana. Hollywood Police said Baton Rouge Police alerted them that Alonso was there and SWAT was used to apprehend him.
Police in Baton Rouge are still looking for one or two other people connected to this case.
Read more about what police revealed in a Wednesday morning news conference HERE.
Follow the publisher of this post on Twitter: @treyschmaltz
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Multiple calls to fix growing sinkhole gone unanswered
Parents stay strong after daughter left paralyzed following domestic violence shooting
INVESTIGATIVE UNIT: Classroom brawl caught on camera; Where were the teachers?
Mom and two sons accused of kidnapping, beating man for hours
Students react to TOPS cut remaining