A body discovered in the Mississippi River at Plaquemine by the crew members of a tugboat Monday morning was identified as Eugene Hodges, according to Police Chief Kenny Payne.
The police chief said the body was spotted between 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. and the tugboat crew contacted the U.S. Coast Guard. The tugboat crew then sent out a smaller boat to retrieve the body, Payne said, then it was delivered to the Plaquemine Police Department at the Court Street landing.
“Initially, we thouaht that the body was an inmate who had escaped from a work release program, killed his former girlfriend then drove to the Mississippi River bridge and jumped,” Payne said, but the tattoos on the body recovered Monday did not match the West Feliciana Parish inmate’s.
The police chief said a multitude of law enforcement agencies were contacted in an effort to identify the body, including the sheriff’s offices of East Baton Rouge, West Baton Rouge, East Feliciana and West Feliciana and the Baton Rouge City Police.
“A detective there asked me to send him photos of the body’s tattoos and they were able to ID the victim as Hodges,” Payne said, who Baton Rouge detectives believe jumped from the Mississippi River bridge on Aug. 19.
“We were assisted in the case by the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Iberville Parish Coroner’s Office in the retrieval of the body and the investigation,” the police chief said.
The body was sent to the East Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office where Coroner William “Beau” Clark, MD, said the 29-year-old died of “multi-symptom trauma secondary to fall from height..”