Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Body of Baby Found - Alabama to Louisiana?

Times Picayune

Body Found Off Venice May be Last Ala. Victim

Father allegedly tossed 4 children from Mobile bridge

Plaquemines Parish authorities are working with Alabama officials to learn whether the body of a baby found near South Pass on Sunday morning is that of the last of four children who were allegedly tossed from a coastal Alabama bridge by their father two weeks ago.

Alabama officials said Lam Luong, 37, confessed to throwing his four children, aged a few months to 3 years, from the Dauphin Island Bridge, setting off a search that began Jan. 8. Luong, 37, later recanted, claiming two Asian women took the children and never returned them.

Three of the children have been found dead, but the fourth, Hannah Luong, 2, was still missing. On Sunday, people on the shrimp boat Crystal Lynn reported seeing a body floating in the Gulf of Mexico shortly before 10 a.m. about seven miles east of South Pass, the Coast Guard said. The crew of the Crystal Lynn lost sight of the body, and the Coast Guard was unable to find it until the crew of the shrimp boat Beau Rivage spotted it about 2:20 p.m. The Beau Rivage kept the body in view until a Coast Guard boat could recover it at 3:08 p.m.

The body was taken to the Coast Guard station at Venice and turned over to the Plaquemines Parish Coroner's Office and the Sheriff's Office, said Petty Officer Marcus Carlucci and Chief Petty Officer Kevin Erwin. Carlucci said the body was that of a small girl, but would not speculate on whether it was the missing child.

But Col. Charles Guey of the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff's Office said detectives are working under the assumption that the body is one of those thrown off the bridge. "We're pretty certain this will be the child," Guey said. He said the body appeared to be female.

"We're working very closely with Mobile authorities," Guey said. He said the description and clothing of the body found Sunday were "pretty close" to those of the missing girl.

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