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Authorities investigating murder-suicide in St. Francisville

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 5:02 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The community of St. Francisville is in shock after a suspected murder-suicide and a third person is recovering after getting caught in the middle of that deadly shooting.

The sheriff of West Feliciana Parish says Marshall Rayburn went to his estranged wife’s home uninvited and began arguing. Investigators believe Rayburn shot Peggy Rayburn and then turned the gun on himself.

Monday night, Peggy and Marshall, who she was separated from, were found dead in Peggy’s home on Ruth Street.

Marshall Rayburn
Marshall Rayburn(West Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office)

District Attorney Sam DAquilla tells WAFB Marshall was released from prison on Aug. 30 on the condition he stay away from his estranged wife. Peggy had a protective order against Marshall which prohibited him from being around her and her home, DAquilla says.

The district attorney says Marshall was wearing an ankle monitor while he waited for Peggy to come outside of her house. Marshall then forced himself back into the house and murdered Peggy, DAquilla explains.

West Feliciana Parish Sheriff Brian Spillman tells the Rayburns had recently retired from a local business in the parish.

“Both of the Rayburn’s were well known and well liked in the community, they worshipped at a local church and were involved in the church,” Sheriff Spillman added.

Police from St. Francisville and deputies from the sheriff’s office responded to the emergency call from Peggy’s neighbor, Lanie Cathey, who was also shot, after trying to intervene in the couple’s argument.

“Miss Cathey did a great job in attempting to diffuse this situation between people that she knew that were her neighbors and had been her neighbors for quite some time, but what we ask people to do in these situations if they fear violence is going to be involved, call 911 immediately, let’s get some officers on scene to help them to diffuse a possible domestic situation or whatever criminal act that could occur.”

The sheriff tells WAFB deputies had received previous calls about a domestic disturbance at the Rayburn household.

The suspected murder-suicide is still under investigation so far, a motive has not been determined.

The Rayburn’s neighbor, Cathey, is expected to recover from her injuries.

If you or a loved one is experiencing domestic violence, contact the Butterfly Society at 225-347-7725 or thebutterflysociety@gmail.com. More information and resources is available by clicking here.

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