Police: Handyman arrested in couple's killing, stole cash

AP News
Posted: Oct 21, 2015 5:44 PM
Police: Handyman arrested in couple's killing, stole cash

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A handyman kidnapped and strangled a couple he worked for and stole tens of thousands of dollars from a safe in their home, Baton Rouge police said Wednesday.

Ernesto Llerena Alonso, 42, of Baton Rouge, was arrested about 8 a.m. Wednesday in Hollywood, Florida, and will be extradited and booked with kidnapping and murder in the deaths of Denis Duplantier, 71, and Suzanne Duplantier, 70, Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie said in a news release.

The Duplantiers' bodies were found in their pickup at a truck stop in Hammond, about 45 miles east of Baton Rouge and 860 miles from Hollywood.

Alonso's white pickup was on surveillance video pulling into the truck stop at the same time as the Duplantiers' red truck, said Cpl. L'Jean McKneely, a Baton Rouge police spokesman. A large sum of money has also been found, he said.

Police said relatives called late Monday saying they had been unable to get in touch with the Duplantiers. OnStar tracked their pickup to a truck stop to Hammond, where police found their bodies in the truck's back seat.

Both had been strangled, authorities said.

McKneely said he did not know whether they were killed in the truck or killed and then put into the back seat.

Police said Tuesday they were searching for a second, unidentified, person in the case.