St. Peter Catholic Church in Covington, Louisiana, says its community has been “rocked” by news of a double homicide that local police announced Monday morning, amid an unconfirmed report that the victims were the parish’s former pastor and a former employee.
A local Covington man has been arrested and charged in connection with the murders.
“Our community has been rocked by this morning’s news of the double homicide in downtown Covington. Please join us for a Holy Hour in St. Peter Catholic Church at 7 p.m.,” the post on the parish’s website says.
The Covington Police Department has
yet to release the identities of the victims, whom the department said
in a Facebook post Nov. 28 were “burned beyond recognition.”
However, a local reporter posted online that the parish’s former pastor and an employee of his at the church were reported to be the victims by “multiple people with knowledge of the situation.”
CNA is withholding the names of the alleged victims pending confirmation from authorities.
WGNO reported Monday that one of the victims may be a “long-time prominent member” of the community, according to “witnesses.”
Earlier on Monday, St. Peter Parish posted online: “We are aware of news reports of an apparent double homicide in downtown Covington. There is speculation about the identity of the victims, but until this is confirmed by the coroner’s office, we cannot speculate about their identities.”
“Please pray for the victims and their families while we wait for final confirmation,” the post said.
Police said that the bodies were found by police “in the 500 block of E. Gibson Street,” which is about a half-mile from the church.
On Monday evening, police announced that they had taken a suspect, 49-year-old Antonio Donde Tyson of Covington, into custody.
Tyson was charged with two counts of first degree murder, two counts of second degree kidnapping, two counts of obstruction of justice, one count of resisting an officer, and one count of illegal possession of stolen things.
“We urge members of the public who may have knowledge of this incident to contact the Covington Police Department at 985-892-8500. Citizens can also submit tips anonymously through our free app, called ‘Covington PD,’” police said.
Police said that the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office; and the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office were involved in the investigation.