RESERVE, La. – Suicide has been ruled in the death of a woman found hanging from a tree branch in this southeastern Louisiana town, authorities said.
St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Wayne Jones said Tuesday that deputies found notes near the body and said detectives tentatively identified the woman as Paula Chenier of Reserve. Chenier has been missing for four weeks.
Chenier was seen on a Reserve store's surveillance camera on April 3 making a purchase. The clothes she was wearing on the video matched clothes found on the body, Jones said.
Four suicide notes written to family and friends and signed by Chenier were recovered from a purse found near the body. Chenier's identification also was inside the purse, Jones said.
The body was found May 1 by a parish employee who had just finished cutting grass near a canal.