Coroner rules death of missing man as homicide; no suspect identified

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - An autopsy has determined foul play is behind the death of a missing Central man.

Dale Sands, 53, was shot in the chest and head, according to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office. His death has been classified as a homicide.

Sands was reported missing to the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office earlier this week. His family last heard from him via text on Tuesday.

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Sands' body was found Wednesday on Great Smokey Ave. near Oak Villa around 3 p.m. Officials say his body was found in the backyard of a home in an overgrown area. The Baton Rouge Police Department is investigating.

BRPD has not yet established a motive or suspect in this case.

Sands was an Allstate insurance agent and his death left many at a loss for words, including Jay Thomas, another insurance agent who worked with Sands over the past year.

"How could it happen? Dale was... just genuinely the nicest guy in the world," Thomas said. "He always got a smile on his face, he just loved life and loved people."

Thomas said Sands recently became a grandfather and lived every day for his family. Sands also was no stranger to tragedy.

"He's lived the life of Job for the last year – lost everything in the flood, rebuilt his life," he said.

For now, Sands' friends and family are left searching for answers. However, Thomas said one thing is for certain, "If these guys that did this were to ask him for forgiveness, he would forgive them."

Anyone with information about this case is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 225-344-7867.

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