Man arrested on second-degree murder charges; Victim’s burned body found stuffed inside barrel
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A man was arrested on second-degree murder charges for his role in the death of a woman whose burned body was found in a wooded area along Airline Highway.
According to an arrest report, Roderick Edwin Castle Jr., 24, discarded the victim’s remains behind a neighborhood near the fairgrounds before setting it on fire.
The East Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Andromeda Kirkland-Walls.
On Wednesday, Jan. 11, deputies with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to 15630 Airline Highway after reports of a body being found.
When they arrived, deputies say they found the “lifeless body of an adult female victim in a wooded area of the property.”
Jail records show the body was covered with several items and appeared to have been set on fire.
The area where the victim’s body was located was described as a “very large property, consisting of multiple, individual family properties/residences,” a probable cause report stated.
A search warrant was obtained for the property where the victim’s body was located, which included a mobile home and adjacent sheds and barns.
Detectives added the victim’s body had been placed “inside of a 55-gallon type plastic barrel.”
Several items were also placed on top of and near the body, which had also been set on fire. A wheelbarrow was discovered a few feet away from the victim’s body.
Evidence found at the crime scene suggests that the wheelbarrow was used to transport the victim’s body to the burn site.
After searching the property, detectives found an area of dead grass and dirt, which appeared consistent with where the wheelbarrow had previously been kept.
An autopsy conducted by the EBR Coroner’s Office revealed the victim sustained blunt force trauma to the head and neck. The autopsy also revealed the victim was dead at the time of the fire. Her death was ruled a homicide.
Authorities say investigators used DNA swabs from various items of evidence located near the victim’s body, including the wheelbarrow. Castle’s DNA matched the DNA that was taken from the handle of that wheelbarrow.
Law enforcement added Castle does not live on the property nor was he known to frequent the property where the victim’s remains were located.
Castle faces one count of second-degree murder and one count of obstruction of justice.
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