COVINGTON, La. – Two Hispanic men were shot and killed, and their bodies dumped along to Interstate 12 about four miles apart on Wednesday, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain said.
"It is somewhat bizarre," he said. "It is not uncommon for bodies to be dumped, but it is unusual for them to be dumped along such a busy road in such visible sight."
Deputies had no suspects and did not know why the men were shot, sheriff's spokesman George Bonnett said Wednesday evening.
Mark Lombard, chief investigator for the coroner's office, said pathologists were still finishing autopsies and he had not confirmed the men's names.
Strain said the men probably were shot in a car, and dumped out of it.
One body was found just west of the Louisiana Highway 1077 exit and the second just west of the Highway 21 exit, deputies said. each was about 40 feet from the road.
One of the men may have been from Gainesville, Ga., Strain said. The Sheriff's Office would not specify which body was found first or how the second body was found. A passerby called a report of the first body about 6:40 a.m.
Traffic backed up for miles as drivers slowed to look at the roadside investigations, even though deputies put orange plastic barriers around the bodies. They were removed about 9:30 a.m.
He guessed that the killers were not local, because the bodies were left near a heavily traveled interstate rather than on a rural side road. The traffic may have scared them off before they could get the bodies to heavy woods less than 100 feet from the highway and a ravine even closer, he said.
Some other driver probably something that could help identify the suspects, Strain said, asking anyone who saw anything out of the ordinary to call his office.
Strain said that federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement are participating in the investigation.