RAYNE, La. (KLFY) — New details have been released, and a suspect has been identified, in the case of human skeletal remains found at St. Joseph Church in Rayne on May 18.
Police said church staff reported another human bone left on the steps of the church on Tuesday. The bone was found without any note or other items with it, unlike the previous discovery.
Subsequently, detectives with the Rayne Police Department said they have identified Russell “Rusty” Richard, 44, of Rayne as a suspect in both incidents.
After being identified and questioned by detectives, Richard has cooperated and has identified the cemetery on the north side of Roberts Cove Highway, just outside of Rayne, as the source of the stolen bones, Rayne Police Chief Carroll Stelly said.
“This is a unique case, and we appreciate the patience and support of the community and the congregation of St. Joseph Church as we continue our investigation,” Stelly said. “Investigators are in the process of trying to identify family members of the stolen bones. Mr. Richard claimed his motive was to have the bones blessed and properly reburied.”
Detectives have obtained an arrest warrant for Richard for two counts of illegal possession of human remains, authorities said.