District Attorney: Other open cases need more attention

District Attorney: Other open cases need more attention
(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - After Suzanne and Denis Duplantier were found strangled, police made an arrest in matter of days. Evidence and tips led investigators to Miami where they found their murder suspect, the couple's handyman Ernesto Alonso.

Police are still searching for at least one other suspect.

"We'll eventually find out whether he's going to waive extradition or not, whether the governors will be involved with state warrants and how long that'll take," said East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore. "Then we'll go through the process of a grand jury investigation and see what happens."

Moore said the massive media and community interest in the case played a big role in moving the case along quickly. He said he'd like to see that same attention on other open murder investigations from this year. According to 9News' records, there are more than 30.

"You have to get off the chair and say something," said Moore.

Moore pointed out that in many cases, physical evidence is lacking. In those cases, investigators have to depend on witnesses for guidance. If no one speaks up, a case could quickly go cold.

"Once they go cold and nobody hears about them, it dries up," said Crime Stoppers Coordinator Lt. Don Stone. "The detectives will stay on top of them as long as they have something hot. As long as they have information, they're going to run with it."

One of those open cases is that of Brittney Mills. The 29-year-old expecting mother was shot and killed in her doorway in April. Leads have been slim.  Mills' sister is still waiting for someone to bring her family closure.

"I know that there are individuals out there. They may have known something. They may know some information. They know every detail of what transpired," said Dr. Tia Mills. "I want to know, was it worth it?"

In many cases, police said fear keeps people silent. Moore hopes communities will find the courage to overcome that fear and take back their neighborhoods using resources like the BRAVE Initiative and Crime Stoppers.

Crime Stoppers provides an anonymous link between the public and investigators. The unit has dozens of unsolved cases on file across the state. Stone said they receive around 350 calls a month.

Crime Stoppers guarantees anonymity. People who call in tips do not have to testify in court or even give their name. There's also a possible cash reward.

"People don't want to talk to the police. They don't want to come in. They don't want to tell them face to face. That's what we're here for," said Stone.

If anyone has any tips or information on any case, call Crime Stoppers at 225-344-STOP (7867) or submit it online.

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