Detectives look into murdered sex offender's possible connection to suspects

Published: Jul. 9, 2015 at 9:49 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 9, 2015 at 10:15 PM CDT
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Jace Crehan (Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office)
Jace Crehan (Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office)
Noce's home where he was found dead on July 4th (Source: WAFB)
Noce's home where he was found dead on July 4th (Source: WAFB)
Robert Noce (Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office)
Robert Noce (Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office)

ZACHARY, LA (WAFB) - Detectives are hoping to uncover more about how the convicted sex offender brutally murdered in Zachary on July 4 knew the alleged suspects.

All was quiet on S. Vernon Road on Thursday, but people who live in the neighborhood are making a lot of noise about the murder of their neighbor,
Robert Noce.

Debbie Ponder, who ran a daycare center down the street, said, a couple of years ago, she babysat Noce's daughter and the girl's older, half-sister, Brittany Monk. Detectives have named Monk as a suspect in Noce's murder.

"I just have a hard time understanding why someone would do this. I just still don't understand it," Ponder said.

Zachary Police Chief David McDavid said Noce's relative walked into the home to discover something terrible had happened. He said it was so bad, his officers had to call in the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office.

"When we looked at the scene we backed out and said, 'Hey, look we are going to need some help with this,'" McDavid said.

According to the police report, EBR sheriff's deputies found Noce's body inside a 55-gallon drum in the kitchen. Autopsy results indicated he was stabbed multiple times and strangled to death.

On Wednesday, detectives arrested 17-year-old Brittany Monk and 21-year-old Jace Crehan and charged each with second degree murder. Sheriff's investigators said Crehan confessed to the murder and that Monk was also involved.

The arrest affidavit stated forensic analysts at the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab found Monk's DNA on an item detectives believe was used to clean up the crime scene.

In 2012, Noce was indicted on an aggravated rape charge involving a child. The charge was later changed to carnal knowledge of a juvenile.

Detectives are not commenting on whether the killing was connected to that sexual abuse conviction or whether that case had ties to either of the current suspects.

Ponder was shocked by the allegations.

"For the four years I kept his girls, I never saw any of that," Ponder said.

Ponder said while she knew Noce was on probation for a sex crime, she is still having a hard time accepting he could do anything to hurt the girls he was caring for.

"I don't believe he deserved to die, especially to be murdered like that," Ponder said.

Both Monk and Crehan are being held in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on $400,000 bonds.

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