HOUMA, LA (WAFB) - A man accused of killing an elderly man and taking his truck will be booked on murder charges once he is released from the hospital. He is being treated for hypothermia after jumping into a bayou to try to get away from law enforcement agents.
Cody Callais, 38, of Houma, will face first-degree murder and other charges in the death of Rickie Samanie, 68, of Gray. An autopsy on Samanie is scheduled for Thursday. The Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office said Callais admitted to killing Samanie.
The victim was found dead in his home by a neighbor who had gone to check on him Tuesday evening. The neighbor called 911 and responding deputies began investigating, focusing on Samanie's missing 2003 Ford F-150 truck.
Sheriff Jerry Larpenter said his detectives received word the missing pickup was spotted in Thibodaux and a deputy also saw it shortly thereafter. Deputies with TPSO and troopers with Louisiana State Police tried to pull over the truck, but the driver sped off.
Investigators said he led them on a chase in which he drove against traffic and across a median as he tried to get away. The chase made its way to Bayou Blue. Investigators added The suspect eventually hopped out of the vehicle, jumped into the bayou and tried to swim away. However, authorities had the entire area surrounded and sent in police dogs to find him.
Larpenter said Callais climbed out of the water a short time later and yelled his intent to surrender. He was taken into custody and then transported to Terrebonne General Hospital.
Callais will be booked into the Terrebonne Parish Criminal Justice Complex on the following charges:
Theft of a firearm (4 counts)
Theft of a motor vehicle
Theft under $500
Simple criminal damage to property criminal trespass
Unauthorized use of an access card
Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
Officials said his bond will be set later. They added Callais has an extensive criminal history, including burglary and possession of illegal narcotics.
The sheriff thanked Louisiana State Police, Thibodaux Police Department, Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office, Bayou Blue Fire Department and Acadian Ambulance for their assistance.