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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    LA - Leon Rachal, 82, Ponchatoula, 19 Jan 2011

    HAMMOND, LA (WAFB) - Investigators have found the burned-out car of an 82-year-old man who has been missing for a week, but the whereabouts of the victim remain unknown. A suspect was arrested for allegedly breaking into the man's home the same day he went missing.

    According to the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office, Leon Rachal of Ponchatoula was last seen at home by relatives on Jan. 19. His 2004 Chevy Cavalier was located in a remote wooded area off LA 442 in Livingston Parish. It was completely burned.

    Rachal is 5'4", weighs 150 pounds and needs daily medical attention. Foul play is suspected. The arrestee is Wesley Smith Jr., 32.
    Last edited by Texas Mist; 01-28-2011 at 03:52 PM. Reason: details to thread title

  2. #2
    belimom's Avatar
    belimom is offline Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter ~MLK Jr
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    I hope they find him but it doesn't sound good. It seems like there's a pattern here with elderly people missing and cars/RV's found burned.

    Prayers to the family...
    Fly high and free, Jhessye ~

    My posts are meant to help think through possibilities and are strictly an additional opinion under circumstances when many points of view need to be considered. I apologize in advance to anyone whose potential involvement is contemplated in error. Please understand that much of what is happening is merely brainstorming during unfortunate events.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Our nations elderly are just as vulnerable as our children

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Prayers for Mr. Rachal. The trend in burning/arson is really disturbing. On a personal level, I have a close family member that is a firefighter. These criminals put so many of our loved ones in danger,too, as well as the whole innocent community.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    During the course of this investigation, detectives with the assistance from the TPSO Mounted Search and Rescue Team and LASAR Cadaver Dogs, searched several areas of interest for Rachal’s body to no avail. This Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office and the LA. State Fire Marshall is also assisting the TPSO in this investigation.

    So Glad They are actively searching with trained dog teams...

  6. #6
    Man faces murder charge with no body

    A man originally arrested for allegedly breaking into a missing elderly man's home has now been charged with that man's murder, but authorities have not found the victim's body.

    The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office said Wesley Smith Jr., 32, of Hammond, faces a first-degree murder charge for the apparent death of Leon Rachal, 82, of Ponchatoula.

    More: http://www.wafb.com/Global/story.asp?S=14368221

  7. #7
    Tangipahoa Sheriffs identify found skeletal remains as missing man

    Skeletal remains found buried in a shallow grave on May 4 have been identified as Leon H. Rachal, an 82-year-old man missing since Jan. 22.

    More: http://www.wwltv.com/news/Tangipahoa...121657029.html

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Rest in peace.

    Despite Smith’s arrest and the uncovering of Rachal’s body, Edwards said the investigation will continue and more arrests are possible.
    More arrests? So there may have been more than just one person attacking this man?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    From October 2012:


    Wesley Smith Jr. of Hammond, charged with second degree murder for the death of Leon Rachal of Ponchatoula in 2011, was sentenced to 20 years in state prison Tuesday on separate charges of simple burglary and possession of stolen property that were filed in connection with Rachal's murder...

    Assistant District Attorney LeAnne Malnar told Judge Brenda Bedsole Ricks during a hearing for Smith that the district attorney's office made the offer to drop the murder charge in exchange for the guilty pleas...

    Athmann found a promissory note in Rachal's dresser drawer in the amount of $5,000 for the purchase of a pickup truck. The note, dated Feb. 12, 2008, was for Smith, who agreed to pay Rachal, a no-nonsense businessman, $138.89 per month... Detectives checked Smith's truck and found neckties, a VCR, a DVD, a camera, two credit cards belonging to Rachal, a Timex watch with blood on the face, a bloodstained sheet and a cell phone... Smith had used Rachal's credit cards to withdraw $1,200 from his account.

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