Mississippi River mystery and a mother's heartbreak: The story of Jake Latiolais

Crime Stoppers: Jake Latiolais mystery
Published: Dec. 8, 2015 at 3:32 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 8, 2015 at 11:00 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - How many times have you been across the I-10 Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge?  Can you even count?  More than 100,000 vehicles cross over it every day.  But it's one trip across the bridge that wasn't finished that has Baton Rouge Police investigating right now.

Jake Latiolais was allegedly last seen sitting along the railing of the bridge next to his pick-up truck.

"The last time somebody talked to him was around two o'clock that morning," says Baton Rouge Police Detective Robert Cook. "He said he was headed to West Baton Rouge. He never made it, of course."

Back in the early morning hours of August 29, 2014, police say they got an anonymous call from someone saying they saw somebody jump off the bridge.

BRPD and the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office spent the next couple of days searching the river, but no body ever turned up.  Jake's mother, Tina Dupey, has a very different idea about that evening.

"I don't think he put that truck there. I think that was a cover-up for whatever happened to my son," she says.

It's been more than a year, and nothing has turned up. The investigation into what happened is pretty much at a standstill without a new lead. "Anything
is possible at this point," says Detective Cook. "But without any information to make us believe anything happened other than him jumping, we're kind of at a dead end."

Jake's mother says that information is out there.  She believes something much more sinister happened early that morning. She went to her sons trailer later on that day, and says what she found really scared her.

"When I got there, a window was punched out, there were holes in the walls. His personal items were missing. TV, guns, everything."

There is also one more thing that just isn't sitting well with her.  Her son had a broken foot, and used crutches to get around.  Those can't be found either.

"If he jumped off the bridge, his crutches would have been in his room, at his house, in his truck, on the bridge.  They would have been somewhere,"
she says.

The Mississippi River is not quick to give up its secrets, if indeed it has any in this case. So the mystery remains for a mother and her family.  Did Jake jump off of the bridge and fall 175 feet to the water below? Or is there something else going on here? Without any help, the answer may still be a long way off.

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