Louisiana father discovers clues in his daughter’s suspicious dying on a digital digicam

Louisiana father discovers clues in his daughter’s suspicious dying on a digital digicam

On a steamy summer season morning in 2014 within the tiny southern city of Cottonport, Louisiana, Steve Ducote and his spouse Missy found their youngest daughter Megan Parra mendacity on the ground of her lounge with blood pooling round her head. Realizing Megan was nonetheless respiratory, Missy Ducote, a nurse practitioner, tried to avoid wasting her life. Megan died within the hospital the subsequent day.

“I noticed the gun form of tucked towards her leg,” Steve Ducote defined to CBS Information lead nationwide correspondent David Begnaud, in an interview for this week’s “48 Hours.” “The Suspicious Demise of Megan Parra” airs Saturday, Jan. 6 at 10/9c on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

Steve Ducote and  Megan Ducote Parra
Steve Ducote and his daughter, Megan Ducote Parra.

Ducote Household

Steve Ducote says his first thought was that his daughter had shot herself. The gun was proper by her aspect, and she or he had been discovered alone, behind locked doorways.

Megan’s husband and the daddy of their two younger sons, Dustin Parra, confirmed up a number of minutes after Steve Ducote known as him and did one thing unusual, says Ducote. “He comes working in … and he slides, and he simply catches the tip of the blood.” Parra seemed like he was doing a “baseball slide” in his spouse’s blood, says Ducote. Later that day, the shorts Dustin Parra was sporting have been collected as proof by the primary officer on the scene, David Blanchard. Blanchard additionally took 115 images on the dwelling.

Two days later, Steve Ducote says the lead detective on the case, Christopher Knight, confirmed up at his dwelling and mentioned he had the .357 Magnum that killed Megan examined, and her fingerprints have been discovered everywhere in the gun. Steve Ducote says Knight added that Dustin Parra’s fingerprints have been additionally discovered on the gun, however that was to be anticipated as a result of it was Dustin’s gun.

“I mentioned, properly, she will need to have shot herself then,” Steve Ducote instructed Begnaud. It wasn’t till weeks later {that a} dialog with a good friend modified all the things, says Ducote.

Steve Ducote says his good friend, an investigator for the District Lawyer’s Workplace, instructed Ducote there was no approach that Knight may have examined Dustin Parra’s gun for fingerprints in simply two days. Ducote says that the investigator instructed him it might have taken about 14 days to get the outcomes.

“Then I knew,” says Steve Ducote. “I knew she hadn’t killed herself.”

Knight denies ever telling Steve Ducote that he had the gun examined. He says that he by no means despatched the gun out for testing in any respect. 

Simply 4 days after Megan Parra’s taking pictures, Knight filed a one-page report declaring her dying a suicide and closed the case. Steve Ducote grew to become a father on a mission to analyze his daughter’s suspicious dying.

New “48 Hours” episode on the suspicious dying of Megan Parra


Now seeking proof, Steve Ducote says he realized that Blanchard, the officer who photographed the scene of Megan’s taking pictures, nonetheless had the photographs on his digicam. Ducote ultimately received copies of the images that he says helped him show his daughter was murdered.

“I’ve had lots of people ask me,” says Betsy Jeansonne, Megan’s sister, “‘how may you take a look at these crime scene images of your sister?’ …  And I might say, ‘she’d have executed it for me.'” Jeansonne says she spent hours on the web finding out blood spatter patterns, as a result of one thing in regards to the blood round Megan simply did not look proper to her. Steve Ducote says among the images additionally appeared to disclose clues of a wrestle like a wine rack discovered behind a chair and a guitar mendacity on the ground.

Steve Ducote and Jeansonne say they have been changing into more and more satisfied that Megan had been murdered. “Did you begin to consider that Dustin shot her and tried to cowl it up,” David Begnaud requested Jeansonne. “Sure,” she answered.

The Ducotes would spend the subsequent 4 years investigating Megan’s dying, even convincing a number of native and state officers to take a second take a look at the case. However company after company discovered no proof of homicide. Then, Steve Ducote turned to an previous good friend —  retired FBI agent David Lemoine. Lemoine studied the proof compiled by the Ducotes and agreed that it appeared Megan had been murdered. Lemoine was so satisfied that he requested fellow retired FBI agent Zack Shelton to assist him examine the case.

In 2019, Cottonport’s chief of police agreed to deputize Lemoine and Shelton, permitting them to interview witnesses, together with the primary investigator on the case, Chris Knight. Recorded on bodycam and shared with “48 Hours,” Knight admits he by no means absolutely examined the proof, “As a result of I checked out it as a suicide and never murder.”

The previous particular brokers additionally questioned Dustin Parra for greater than an hour about his marriage and what occurred the day his spouse was shot. In that interview, additionally recorded on bodycam, Parra described his marriage as typical. He additionally admitted that not lengthy earlier than Megan died, he had been having an affair. When requested if his spouse was conscious of his indiscretion Parra mentioned, “To my data, no, as a result of she did not query me.”

Regulation enforcement officers noticed no cause to consider that Megan Parra had been murdered till 2021 when Steve Ducote employed impartial crime scene analyst Eric Richardson to look at the proof. 

Dustin Parra's blood-spattered shorts.
Dustin Parra’s blood-spattered shorts.

Ducote Household

It was a photograph of the shorts Dustin Parra was sporting the morning of the taking pictures that reignited the chilly case. Richardson confirmed Begnaud what he found on Dustin’s shorts and mentioned, “It instructed me that Dustin was there when that gun was discharged into Megan’s head.” “You positive?” requested Begnaud. “Constructive,” replied Richardson.

However it was not an open-and-shut case says Riddle. There have been nonetheless a number of unanswered questions, and state and native specialists who disagreed with Richardson’s findings, however Steve Ducote was nonetheless decided to struggle for justice.

“Individuals thought we have been only a grieving household,” says Ducote’s daughter, Betsy Jeansonne. “And he simply led us. For 9 years. Nonetheless main us.”  

#Louisiana #father #discovers #clues #daughters #suspicious #dying #digital #digicam

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Written by bourbiza mohamed

Bourbiza Mohamed is a freelance journalist and political science analyst holding a Master's degree in Political Science. Armed with a sharp pen and a discerning eye, Bourbiza Mohamed contributes to various renowned sites, delivering incisive insights on current political and social issues. His experience translates into thought-provoking articles that spur dialogue and reflection.

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