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  1. #1
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    LA - Renita Menzies, 52, Lacombe, 5 Oct 2010

    The poor woman's body was found burned in the back of a new leased vehicle. Her body had been dismembered. How exactly could this possibly be accidental or a suicide? This reminds me of the deaths in Utah. I also noticed that there are a number of other threads similar to this from WV and Mississippi in the last few years.


    http://www.thesttammanynews.com/arti...f132787154.txt

    Body found in burning car identified


    "The charred and dismembered remains that were found Tuesday evening in the back seat of a burning car off Lake Road in Lacombe have been identified to be that of the 52-year-old Slidell woman who was leasing the vehicle.

    St. Tammany Coroner Peter Galvan’s team positively identified the remains of Renita Menzies, whose last known address was 1818 Chancer Court in the Kingspoint Subdivision..."

    and

    Deputy Chief Fred Oswald said the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office is treating the case as a homicide so as to not lose precious time in the investigation, but added that suicide or accidental death have not been ruled out...."

    more at link

  2. #2
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    One poster under the article states that she was a "lost" woman and that she was depressed. However, she was an RN at a nursing home and was leasing a new vehicle. What are the possible scenarios here? She had a past arrest for attempting to buy crack. I noticed that she has family in Mississippi, in fact she was born there. We have a thread on other dismembered bodies found in Mississippi. Something just isn't right. The woman was a nurse. There would be FAR easier and less painful ways to go than this. And exactly how does one dismember themselves?

    Here's Ms. Menzies obituary. May she finally have peace:

    http://obits.gulflive.com/obituaries...&pid=145977736

  3. #3
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    How exactly could this possibly be accidental or a suicide?
    Easy: the report says that the car exploded. Explosions do tend to dismember a person when they are in close proximity of the blast. They have to figure out if the explosion was accidental, a product of suicide, or done to cover up a murder.

  4. #4
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    this scenario seems to be happening more and more, isnt it? person set ablaze in leased vehicle?

  5. #5
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    I've been searching local news and forums for more information, but there's not much. The authorities are baffled, and the coroner is having a hard time determining COD because there was so little left of her body. "Murder, suicide, and a bizarre accident are all possibilities" according to LE. The coroner says it may become a rare unclassified death.

    This video report shows her home, a beautiful large, modern house. A neighbor says she and her husband separated "six months to a year ago".

    http://www.abc26.com/videobeta/097ff...may-never-know

    I also found out that the La. State Board of Nursing suspended her license in December, 2009. The charges: Unable to Practice Safely by Reason of Alcohol or Other Substance Abuse
    http://lsbn.louisiana.gov/documents/...spring2010.pdf

    The St Tammany News reported that she was arrested last fall for attempting to purchase crack, but the police report shows the charges were "Attempted sale/manufacture of a schedule II CDS" on 09/30/2009.

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...client=firefox

    It's no wonder the authorities are stumped. Since she was involved with street drugs, especially if she was doing a little selling for a real dealer, murder's a good possibility. On the other hand, if her addiction led to losing her husband and her nursing career, suicide fits right in the picture.

    I'm going to keep an eye on this one. I'm also interested in the burning car deaths in Mississippi you mentioned, MissIzzy. Have to find that thread.
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  6. #6
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    Bessie--Thanks for watching this. It's really perplexing and sad. The woman seemed to have so much to live for but was described as "lost". I wonder if she was suffering from financial distress too, as in the murder-suicide of the Texas mayor or the two PSU professors, Richard Hunter and Astrid Schlaps. You mention a lovely home. Was it in foreclosure? We're seeing this more and more.

    FWIW, the thread I found was concerning bodies which were found dismembered in Mississippi. I hadn't considered the theory of the car exploding and the body being so badly damaged. Here's that thread if it's still of interest:

    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...pi+dismembered

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the link, MissIzzy. I just read an article with a comment from a reader. The individual seems to have known the victim well and says she was "very lost" as an adult. She went through a difficult divorce and custody battle, and even lived in her car for awhile.

    I don't know if the house was in foreclosure -- haven't searched that far yet -- but she was living in it at the time of her death. Neighbors said four or five police cars were there the night she died. One neighbor said her husband moved to California after they split up. (The obituary noted a son, I believe, in California, too.)

    It's terribly sad. Seems she was a tortured soul for a long time, and reminds me of a dear, dear friend I lost to suicide a couple of years ago.
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  8. #8
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    Kimberlyd125 is offline Softball is for everyone. Fast pitch is for athletes.
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    Rest in peace Renita.

    Thanks so much y'all for looking into this case. This is the first I've heard of it. Very sad, no matter what happened but I am curious to know how this played out.

    Tragic. IMO
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  9. #9
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    Poor woman. I hope she's found peace now, whatever caused her death.
    Opinions expressed are strictly my own (who else would they belong to???)

  10. #10
    One of my best friends has known Renita for 20+ years, through the good and bad times and told me that she was with her the Saturday before she was killed. She donated her time at the medical tent for the Disabled Olympics (?) in town that weekend and that she has been clean and sober for over a year. She was living in her house, had a new job at a nursing home and was helping to raise one of her ex-husbands children.
    I met her once for about 5 minutes and she was very nice and did not appear to be on any type of drugs. She reminded me of someones mother and grandmother not a drug addict like some of the papers make her sound. My friend and myself know that she did not kill herself, especially not that way. She was a nurse and if she wanted to kill herself it would not be by sitting in the back seat of a car and burning herself up.
    I don't understand how there has been no news from the police and in the news lately. This is a very scary crime and I think they need to start looking for a murderer.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinydancer305 View Post
    One of my best friends has known Renita for 20+ years, through the good and bad times and told me that she was with her the Saturday before she was killed. She donated her time at the medical tent for the Disabled Olympics (?) in town that weekend and that she has been clean and sober for over a year. She was living in her house, had a new job at a nursing home and was helping to raise one of her ex-husbands children.
    I met her once for about 5 minutes and she was very nice and did not appear to be on any type of drugs. She reminded me of someones mother and grandmother not a drug addict like some of the papers make her sound. My friend and myself know that she did not kill herself, especially not that way. She was a nurse and if she wanted to kill herself it would not be by sitting in the back seat of a car and burning herself up.
    I don't understand how there has been no news from the police and in the news lately. This is a very scary crime and I think they need to start looking for a murderer.
    Thank you so very much for posting, Tinydancer! I've been looking for updates on Renita for the past two weeks. I didn't know what to think. After hearing from you, I feel more certain that it was a homicide, and that's just awful! I'm so sorry for your friend's loss.

    Welcome to Websleuths. I hope you'll keep posting.
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  12. #12
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    Tinydancer, do you know where Renita had been that day? And any idea why she was in a rented car? I understand if you don't want to answer.
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  13. #13
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    Welcome Tinydancer!! I'm just sad that you've joined under these circumstances. I have several friends who are nurses and I cannot imagine them committing suicide in this manner. They know far too much about the pain involved and the actual process of a death by fire to choose that method over so many others which are far less painful.


    Welcome, I look forward to your posts.
    Last edited by JBean; 11-06-2010 at 06:46 PM. Reason: removed paragraph at author request

  14. #14
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    I am wondering about accident, however. This sounds somewhat similar to the poor woman who accidentally set her car on fire in New Hampshire.
    Opinions expressed are strictly my own (who else would they belong to???)

  15. #15
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    A leased car is not the same as a rented car.

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