Investigators find animal bones after tip about additional evidence in double murder

Ernesto Alonso (Source: Broward County Sheriff's Office)
Ernesto Alonso (Source: Broward County Sheriff's Office)
Denis and Suzanne Duplantier (Source: Facebook)
Denis and Suzanne Duplantier (Source: Facebook)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office Mobile Command vehicle and many unmarked vehicles with the sheriff's office are on the property of Denis and Suzanne Duplantier, where the man accused of kidnapping and murdering the couple lived.

A police source tells WAFB there was a tip that there may have been additional evidence in the Duplantier case in a field not far from where the couple lived.

During an impromptu news conference at 6 p.m. Thursday, East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Sid Gautreaux says a man claiming to know the suspect in this case told them the suspect had killed a person or persons earlier this year and had buried the body or bodies in land behind the Duplantier home.

A police source says the man is a confidential police informant and although his story had inconsistencies investigators decided to search the land just to be sure.

The sheriff says all they found on the land were bones that are believed to be animal bones. However, the bones were sent for testing just to be sure.  The sheriff pleaded with anyone who has information on the case to please come forward.

Alonso was caught in Miami, Florida early Wednesday morning.

He was a handy man for 71-year-old Denis Duplantier and 70-year-old Suzanne Duplantier, police say. He was staying on their property and was sometimes an employee of the victims, according to the arrest warrant for Alonzo.

Family of the Duplantiers say they last spoke to the couple on Sunday, October 18, 2015 around 1:30 p.m. On Monday night, Baton Rouge Police were called after the Duplantier's children say they could not get in touch with their parents. They told police their parents were not at home, the house was left open, and a large amount of money had been taken. Their father's pickup truck was also missing, according to the warrant.

The arrest warrant states during a search of the Duplantier's home, blood was found in multiple rooms, "consistent with a physical confrontation."

After investigators used OnStar to track Denis Duplantier's missing truck, they found the couple's bodies in the backseat of a pickup truck that was parked at a Petro gas station in Hammond, LA. Surveillance video shows the pickup being parked and a suspect police believe to be Alonzo, get out and into another vehicle that had an accomplice inside.

The investigation revealed the victims were bound and beaten by the suspect until he gained entry into the couple's safe, where he obtained a large amount of money, according the warrant. The suspect is then accused of strangling Denis and Suzanne before driving to Hammond where the bodies were left.

When Alonzo was arrested, the warrant states "items consistent with those used in the homicide were located," when his property was searched.

Evidence from the Duplantier's home was also collected and led officials to believe Alonzo to be the prime suspect, according to the warrant.

Authorities added Alonso will be extradited back to Baton Rouge and charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree kidnapping. Investigators are still looking for a possible accomplice.

District Attorney Hillar Moore said Alonso will face charges in Louisiana and this case will strongly be considered for a death penalty.

"It fits it on all the criteria, not only statutory, but by the egregious nature of the facts and how people were brutalized. This is a bad case," he stated.

Moore also says, "This is one that was planned. This is one that was sadistic in the treatment of these two fine people."

The investigation is ongoing.

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