BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A deputy with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office who played a crucial role in the capture of Oscar Lozada was honored at an event Tuesday, Nov. 12.
Major Todd Morris with EBRSO was honored by The Consul General of Belgium William De Baets for his work in the 2011 homicide of Sylviane Finck. The seven-year investigation resulted in the arrest of Finck’s husband, Lozada, and the safe return of her daughter to family members in Belgium.
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During the ceremony, Maj. Morris was presented with a prestigious award from Belgium King Philippe declaring him Knight of the Order of the Crown. The award is reportedly presented to very few non-Belgium citizens and is only awarded to those who make significant contributions to the country. Finck’s siblings, Ghislaine and Andre, traveled to the US for the ceremony.
“I’m so proud of the work done by Major Morris and his division in this lengthy and difficult investigation. This case highlights the dedication and commitment our investigators have in working all their cases. I’m grateful for the Belgian King’s recognition of Major Morris; and I’m glad Sylviane’s daughter is now safe with family,” Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said.
Ghislaine gave the following speech at the event:
“Eight years ago, Sylviane disappeared. As Sylviane’s sister, I wanted to be present for the presentation of this honorary distinction, awarded by Belgium, to Major Todd Morris.
Our family, devastated and lost on the other side of the world, quickly received information from the Belgian consulate which was in contact with the Baton Rouge police. Sylviane’s husband had taken refuge in Venezuela, taking her little girl Angelina with him and leaving us with no news. We understood directly that the unthinkable had happened!
The Baton Rouge police, in particular, Todd Morris, conducted this investigation directly, with great professionalism and exceptional determination. A few months after Sylviane’s disappearance, I came to Baton Rouge, and I realized the work done by Todd and his team.
The years passed, and our hopes for a happy outcome were dwindling. Never to see Sylviane again, gave us the will and courage to find her daughter Angelina. But the information and follow-up of the investigation was still ongoing. Thanks to Major Todd Morris' perseverance and determination, Angelina and her father were finally found and extradited to Louisiana. Angelina is therefore safe with her Belgian family, and justice is in progress.
On behalf of our family, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, and we express our gratitude to you. We also thank all the people at all levels, from the United States, Belgium, Venezuela and Mexico, who have provided us with support and assistance during these terrible events.”