BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A dispute over money is believed to be the motive behind the murder of a 55-year-old, according to officials with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives arrested Kevin Hewitt Dukes, 42, and booked him into the parish prison on a charge of second degree murder.
The body of body Julius Thomas Sr., 55 was found around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4 in the 1900 block of S Flannery Road. His body was wrapped in a tarp and investigators quickly determined that he died at a different location.
According to Thomas' relatives, he had been in an ongoing dispute with Dukes about money owed by Thomas.
Thomas' relatives went on to say they last spoke to him on the phone Tuesday around 6 p.m. when Thomas said he went to Kings of Karz on Old Hammond Highway to talk to Dukes, who owns the business (formerly Brown’s Collision Center). Detectives say phone records show Dukes called Thomas around 5:43 p.m. Tuesday evening.
Detectives were also able to get a hold of video surveillance from several homes near where the body was dumped. The videos showed a vehicle resembling Thomas' driving through the area just before Thomas was found.
Detectives are still searching for the vehicle, however. They say Thomas' vehicle is a 2007 silver Ford Expedition with license plate number 213 CDT.
A search warrant was also obtained for Dukes' home and business. Officials say blood was found on Dukes' vehicle at his home and outside of his business on Old Hammond Highway. A bullet casing was also discovered in the parking lot of the business.
Investigators attempted to contact Dukes, but he later turned himself in to authorities.
Anyone with information on the missing vehicle is asked to call EBRSO at 225-389-5000 or Crime Stoppers at 225-344-7867.