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Dismembered body found; Sheriff: ‘Very bizarre’

July 24, 2018

DENHAM SPRINGS, La. (AP) — A dismembered body found last week in Louisiana is that of a man last seen by his family on July 2.

Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard says the parish coroner identified the victim Tuesday as 26-year-old Michael Angelo Neufeld of Donaldsonville, whose family had reported him missing in early July to the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities in neighboring East Baton Rouge Parish found Neufeld’s red 2016 Jeep Wrangler, Ard said in a news release.

Six men and two women from four Baton Rouge-area parishes have been arrested, and Ard said there may be more arrests.

Two men face charges of second-degree murder, which would mean an automatic life sentence if they are indicted and convicted on that charge. Three were arrested as accessories to murder. Charges in Livingston Parish are not available for three being held elsewhere.

“This case is very bizarre. The body discovered was actually dismembered. I can confirm the victim is male,” Ard said in a news release Monday evening.

Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies on Neufeld’s case came to their counterparts in Livingston Parish on Friday with information about a Denham Springs address. Evidence found there led deputies to the body in woods about four miles (6.5 kilometers) south, according to Monday’s statement.

The house that was searched belonged to Robert Taylor, 46, WAFB-TV reported .

“Obviously, we believe there was a gathering at the address ... earlier this month,” Ard said. “Something happened. We’re still trying to figure out exactly what took place.”

Taylor was one of those accused as an accessory to murder. He and the two accused of murder — Duane Bissell, 27, of Amite, and Martin Morgan, 31, of Zachary — also face charges of unlawful disposal of remains.

Bissell faces an additional charge: mutilating or disinterring human remains.

William Byars, 37, of Denham Springs and Nancy Logarbo, 27, of Gonzales, were accused of being accessories to murder.

All five were also booked with obstructing justice and a variety of other charges. For instance, charges against Bissell include resisting an officer. Morgan is accused of possessing a stolen firearm and possessing a firearm after a felony conviction; Taylor and Byars face several drug charges, and Logarbo is accused of car theft and monetary instrument abuse.

Bonds were set at $490,000 for Bissell, $435,000 for Morgan, more than $300,000 for Taylor, $205,500 for Byars and $185,000 for Logarbo.

Tony Kile, Jr., 27, of Denham Springs, was being held in Avoyelles Parish and Ashton Hanchey, 28, and Cheyenne Smith, 18, both of Zachary, were being held in East Baton Rouge Parish.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Lori Steele said she did not know whether any of the accused had attorneys who could speak for them.

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