TV series brings new tips in decades old cold case

TV series brings new tips in decades old cold case
(Source: WAFB)
(Source: WAFB)

IBERVILLE PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Last year, the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office reopened the cold case of a brutal murder that happened nearly 20 years ago. Now, the investigation is playing out before a national audience as the center of a new documentary series, and it's already stirring up new information.

Eugenie Boisfontaine is a name not easily forgotten. In her picture, her round face is framed by light colored hair and a small Mona Lisa smile. Unfortunately it's her death, not her smile, most people remember about Boisfontaine.

The 34-year-old LSU grad student disappeared in June of 1997. She was last seen near the LSU Lakes. Investigators combed the area until their worst fears were confirmed months later when her body was discovered in a remote Iberville Parish swamp.

"She had been dead for several months. So again with the elements and everything, the crime scene was basically washed away," explained Major Ronnie Hebert with the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office.

The Boisfontaine case went cold and remains unsolved so far. It has haunted the IPSO for nearly two decades, especially the original lead detective, Rodie Sanchez.

However, the mystery is unfolding once again, this time on a national stage.

The sheriff's office reopened the case over the summer with help from the Discovery Channel, who provided access to new, advanced technology to dig
up new leads. In turn, their progress is being documented in a new six-episode series called "The Killing Fields."

"The Killing Fields" follows Sanchez and the rest of the department in "real time" as they retrace the case and work to find new leads. Initial reviews of the series call it heavily stylized, but extremely captivating.

More importantly, less than 24 hours after the first episode hit air, tips on the case came pouring in.

"One is kind of interesting when I listen to it," said Hebert excitedly. "Certainly made that phone call and set something up."

That's not all. In the few months since their fresh start on the case, Hebert said new interviews and DNA tests have revealed a lot, even ruling out one high profile suspect long associated with Eugenie's case.

"I can without a shadow of a doubt tell you, it's not Derrick Todd Lee," said Hebert.

Lee is a convicted serial killer who was operating in Baton Rouge around the time Boisfontaine went missing. Many initially thought she could be among his early victims.

Hebert believes they are now on the right trail to find out who was really behind her death. He is hopeful with more national exposure and hard work from his team, that a warrant will finally be issued.

"It's a good possibility," said Hebert. "I feel real confident in what we have. It may be wishful thinking, but I know my guys and I know they work hard."

Anyone with information that could help the case is asked to call the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office at (225) 687-3553.

"The Killing Fields" airs on the Discovery Channel on Tuesdays at 9 p.m.

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