Suspect in Denham Springs couple’s murder extradited to Louisiana

Man accused in murder of Denham Springs elderly couple extradited back to Louisiana

DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Michael Collins, 45, is in the Livingston Parish Detention Center Tuesday night after having been in Kentucky since Eugene and Patricia Gurley’s murders on Oct. 31. He’s booked on two counts of first degree murder, two counts of automobile theft, and simple burglary.

Michael Collins extradited to Livingston Parish

Officers with the Denham Springs Police Department went to conduct a welfare check on the Gurleys after they were last heard from Oct. 29 around 4 p.m. Officers found the couple dead inside their business, National Pool Builders on Pete’s Highway. An autopsy revealed they both died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Eugene and Patricia Gurley
Eugene and Patricia Gurley

Collins, who lived on the Gurleys' property, was named a suspect very early on in the investigation, but Denham Springs Police Chief Shannon Womack said Collins fled in the Gurleys’ truck to Kentucky.

On Nov. 3, a tip from the Greater Baton Rouge Crime Stoppers provided information about Collins’ location in Kentucky. Within hours, the Louisiana State Police Fugitive Apprehension Task Force was able to coordinate with the Allen County Sheriff’s Office, the Scottsville Police Department, and Kentucky State Police to arrest Collins.

Michael Collins, 45
Michael Collins, 45 (Source: Allen County Sheriff's Office)

The Gurleys' white Nissan Frontier pickup truck was recovered by Kentucky State Police in the parking lot of a state park about ten miles from where Collins had been staying, said Womack.

When Collins went before a judge in Kentucky, he did not waive extradition and the Denham Springs Police Department had to obtain a governor’s warrant to transport Collins back to Louisiana. It’s why it has taken so long to get Collins to Denham Springs.

On Tuesday, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) aviation staff, DSPD, and LSP took custody of Collins in Allen County, Kentucky and transported him back to Denham Springs. After DSPD interviewed and processed Collins, he was transported to the Livingston Parish Detention Center, where he was charged.

Eugene Gurley, 72, was a retired school teacher from Livingston Parish and was working as a swimming pool contractor. His wife Patricia, 70, assisted in running the business.

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