NATALBANY, LA (WAFB) - Natalbany is an otherwise quiet, rural town tucked away in Tangipahoa Parish. But since early Thursday morning three people have been killed and neighbors are shocked and confused and the sheriff's office is desperate for answers.
"This morning I got up to feed my animals. When I walked out the backdoor and turned, I seen the body," says Leon Terry.
Terry found the body of 18-year-old Marquise Lightfoot in his yard around 6 a.m. Friday morning.
Officials have not released how Lightfoot died but neighbors report hearing gunshots early morning.
Perhaps the most disturbing part it that this murder comes less than 24 hours after a double murder just one block away.
"We found two deceased victims. They were identified as Charleston Mitchell, 24, of Springfield and Randy Bickham, age 31 of Hammond," said Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards during a press conference Friday.
The two did know each other and were found shot to death in an SUV around 3:40 a.m.
Edwards says despite their close proximity in distance and time, it's too early to say whether they're related. But he adds their informants led them to believe they are not related.
He says in both cases, the suspects knew the victims.
"None of the information we got so far leads us to believe that none of these three people were randomly picked out by someone who just wanted to go out and kill someone."
Neighbors say majority of people living here are family or long-timers and know each other. But now, they're clueless who did this.
"Don't know who would want to do that but I hope and pray y'all catch him," says Kiara Terry.
They say Lightfoot had just graduated from Hammond High School and had plans.
"He was a real good dude, like in school. Had aspirations to go to college and play football and be an anesthesiologist. So it's just so sad his life just got ended so early," says friend Devonte Wilson.
Sheriff Edwards says the State Police Crime Lab has collected evidence and now they're waiting for any information such as a fingerprint or a DNA match.
He also added that he doesn't believe that the public is in harms way.
"While it's very unfortunate and tragic to have three homicides at any time, especially 24 hours apart, I don't believe these are random acts. I don't believe the general public is in harms way by whoever it was that committed these particular homicides."
The Sheriff's Office is offering $5000 for any information in Thursday's double murder and another $5000 for Friday's murder.
The awards would be separate and on top of anything Crime Stoppers offers.
If you have any information about the cases, you are asked to call the Tangipahoa Parish Crime Stoppers at 1-800-554-JAIL.