Witness: Robbery victim shot in head, body missing

Tony Rodriguez Jr. (Source: Assumption Parish Sheriff's Office)
Tony Rodriguez Jr. (Source: Assumption Parish Sheriff's Office)
House where the "altercation" took place
House where the "altercation" took place

BELLE ROSE, LA (WAFB) - Detectives in Assumption Parish are investigating a possible murder that seems more like a scene out of a horror movie. Two guys jump out in front of your car and rob you. The Sheriff says that is what happened in Belle Rose, LA Monday night just off Highway 998, right before a nearby home went up in flames.

The mystery starts with the man who was reportedly shot. He is nowhere to be found. "The question is did he awake from unconsciousness and leave scene and is stuck in a ditch somewhere and in need of medical care or have the suspects taken body and disposed of it," said Assumption Parish Sheriff Mike Waguespack.

Detectives said 23-year-old Tony Rodriguez and his friend were on their way to Donaldsonville when they mistakenly turned down LA 998 in Belle Rose. Rodriguez's friend told a 911 dispatcher that when they stopped to look at a map for directions, two men with guns jumped in front of their car.

"They pulled me into the driveway and took us into the house and they held us at gunpoint and they started shooting, and I was able to get out," the caller told the 911 dispatcher. "My friend stayed and he got shot." Reports are that Rodrigues was shot in the face.

The sheriff said the house was on fire when deputies arrived. It is the last place the victim told 911 operators he saw his friend alive.

The charred house on Tigerville Lane in Belle Rose is the center of what Waguespack is calling the first murder in Assumption Parish this year.

Detectives don't believe the suspects and the victims knew each other and they're still not sure why the alleged robbers picked that house when they held up the two men.

The people who own the home said they don't know either. Though it is more like a vacation spot for them, LaQuan Crandle is angered by what happened. She lost her 3-year-old Pit bull "Nicki" in the fire.

"The kids usually be in here with the dog enjoying themselves, spending time with television, having family time," Crandle said. "Now, nobody can do none of that."

Crandle added she is thankful the seven people who usually do spend time at the home were not there Tuesday night.

The body of Rodrigues was no where to be found. Investigators are searching the charred house and the nearby sugarcane fields.

Waguespack asks that anyone with information on the case to call 985-526-1627 or 985-369-2912.

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