Reopened IPSO cold case premieres on Discovery Channel
A nearly two-decade old cold case has been reopened for investigation by the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office and was featured in a new weekly show on Discovery Channel titled “Killing Fields”.
The show premiered Tuesday, January 5, as a true-crime series that takes viewers inside an active criminal investigation as it unfolds.
The first case in the series follows the Iberville Parish homicide of Eugenie Boisfontaine, a Baton Rouge woman found dead in East Iberville in 1997.
Boisfontaine, Louisiana State University graduate student, was last seen June 1997 near LSU’s lakes. Two months later, her body was found in Bayou Manchac with evidence of blunt force trauma to her head.
According to a Discovery Channel press release, there were 60 cases of missing and murdered women in the area that went unsolved between 1997 and 2003 along with multiple serial killers, including Derrick Todd Lee, which may further complicate the investigation.
Representatives from Sirens Media have been filming in the Iberville Parish area for the last few months in preparation for a January 2016 release. Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi said the Sheriff’s Office couldn’t solve this case alone.
With the introduction of new advancements in forensic science and DNA analysis, detectives are hopeful to unearth new information to bring the 20-year-old case to a close.
“Discovery made available resources the Sheriff’s Office might not have been able to afford,” Stassi said. “Being able to reopen this case with the new DNA technology gave us a big chance to move forward with this case.”
IPSO brought on retired Detective Rodie Sanchez, who was originally assigned the case in 1997. Sanchez is determined to solve the mystery and make good on a broken promise he made to Eugenie’s mother: to find the person or persons responsible for killing her daughter, and finally find closure for himself and her family.
“I had a good life in law enforcement for over 30 some years,” Sanchez said. “I miss it and thought about [this case] every day.”
Full-time detective Aubrey St. Angelo joined Sanchez, along with other IPSO detectives in hopes of solving the case.
According to Ronnie Hebert, Major over Criminal Investigations Department at IPSO, representatives chose to follow this unique case because Louisiana, specifically Iberville Parish, rates highly on secluded areas prime for body dumps.
“They haven’t necessarily been murdered here, but they are dropped after death,” Hebert said. Hebert also credits Discovery representatives for providing the funds necessary to reopen a case like Boisfontaine’s.
“They have been a real asset,” Hebert said. “This project cost us (IPSO) and the taxpayers zero dollars.”
Sirens Media, a Leftfield Entertainment Company, provided expedited DNA and phone records and funding for advanced DNA testing. Even with the advanced science to back them up, the IPSO detectives didn’t have an easy time working the old file.
“This is an old case and very challenging,” Hebert said. “We’ve got people that are dead now and no longer here since this happened. But we hope for new evidence to come to light. It is a slow and tedious process.”
Hebert then explained that results from DNA testing could take up to six months to return. With access and familiarity of advanced testing processes, Hebert said he and his crew would love to reopen other cold cases that lacked evidence for closure.
“Killing Fields” is produced for Discovery Channel by Sirens Media. For Sirens Media, Executive Producers are Rebecca Toth Diefenbach, Valerie Haselton Drescher, Lucilla D’Agostino and Siobhan Walshe. For Discovery Channel, Denise Contis and Joseph Schneier are executive producers with Max Micallef as coordinating producer. To learn more, go to www.discovery.com, or their Facebook page at Facebook.com/discovery and on Twitter @Discovery.
The show runs every Tuesday night on Discovery Channel at 9 p.m.