Routine DNA swab leads to break in 2008 Lafayette cold case murder

Bonnie Ruphard
Bonnie Ruphard

LAFAYETTE, LA (WAFB) - Lafayette police have charged a man for a 2008 cold case murder after a routine DNA swab nearly 10 years later.

Millard P. Hebert, 56, of Youngsville, was charged with second-degree murder for the death of Bonnie Ruphard, 47, after DNA collected from the victim linked him to the killing.

According to a report from KATC-TV, Ruphard's body was found in a wooded area on Lanjunie Road by a marathon runner on Dec. 6, 2008. Ruphard was from Illinois but was working in the Lafayette area at the time of her death.

A detective collected DNA from a possible suspect from the victim on December 8, 2008. Ruphard's death was ruled an apparent homicide.

Cpl. Karl Ratcliff said in the following months, "Several investigative leads were followed but no suspect was identified and no arrest was made."

Hebert was already in the Lafayette Parish jail for unrelated drug charges from a Feb. 15 arrest. Corrections officers performed a routine DNA swab on Hebert while he was being processed into the jail.

The Acadiana Crime Lab made a DNA hit matching the DNA evidence collected from the crime scene to Hebert on March 8. Investigators interviewed Hebert about Ruphard's murder the same day and then charged him with second-degree murder.

Hebert remains in jail on a $250,000 bond for the second-degree murder charge and a $7,500 bond for the unrelated drug charges.

Copyright 2018 WAFB. All rights reserved.