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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    LA - Curtis 'Cochise' Smith, 29, Plaquemine, 21 Feb 1991 *Arrest*


    Charley Project

    Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
    • Missing Since: February 21, 1991 from Plaquemine, Louisiana
    • Classification: Endangered Missing
    • Date of Birth: May 4, 1961
    • Age: 29 years old
    • Height and Weight: 5'4, 135 pounds
    • Distinguishing Characteristics: African-American male. Black hair, brown eyes.
    • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A blue jacket, a white pullover shirt and blue sweatpants.

    Details of Disappearance
    Smith was last seen in Plaquemine, Louisiana on February 21, 1991. He left his mother's residence during the early evening hours and a friend saw him standing outside a store in the rain, carrying an umbrella. Smith said he was waiting for his boss to bring him some money. He has never been heard from again. Few details are available in his case.

    Crime Stoppers: Cold case killing fields in Iberville Parish

    There's a mystery that has lingered too long in Iberville Parish. A missing person's case has turned into a murder investigation.

    The winding roads, the woods and swamps can hide a lot, like a body. The Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office has been looking for one in particular for a quarter century and investigators say they have a very good idea who is behind the crime.

    "No doubt in my mind," said Maj. Ronnie Hebert with IPSO. "I am one million percent convinced there is one person responsible for these crimes."

    Detectives believe they know who did this, but we'll leave the suspect’s name out of it for now. It's the case of Curtis "Cochise" Smith. He went missing back in February of 1991. Some strong leads led deputies to one man back then. They said that man admitted to killing Smith.

    "He admitted to doing it, then he retracted that and said, ‘Look, the deputies tricked me; I didn't want to say that,’" said Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi.

    Investigators said the suspect even took them to where he said he dumped the body. They added he put it in a barrel, poked some holes in the barrel and then dumped it in the water down near Bayou Pigeon, which is south of Plaquemine. However, a body has never been found and no charges have been officially filed. So, it remains a mystery.

    The mystery is now part of the Discovery Channel series "The Killing Fields." The hope is that the added attention and resources may be able to solve a crime 25 years old.
    curtis smith.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Iberville Parish makes arrest in cold case 25 years old


    Sheriff Brett Stassi said Tommy Francise, 61, of Plaquemine, was arrested in Lafayette around 4 a.m. as a fugitive from justice.

    Francise was then taken to Iberville Parish and booked on two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Curtis "Cochise" Smith in 1991 and George Barrett Jr. in 2002.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Judge denies bond for suspect in Iberville Parish cold case from 25 years ago


    The man accused of killing two people decades ago in Iberville Parish will have to stay behind bars until his trial.

    Judge Alvin Batiste Jr. denied bond for Tommy Francise, 61, of Plaquemine, who faces two counts of second-degree murder, one of them being a cold case from 25 years ago in which a body was never found.

    The first murder was in February 1991 when investigators said he killed Smith for allegedly stealing his air compressor. Though Smith’s body has never been found, detectives said he was shot and stuffed in a barrel, holes poked in that barrel with water filled in it and then tossed in a bayou.

    Then in 2002, Barrett was killed after he threatened to go to the police for his alleged role in helping get rid of Smith's body in 1991. Barrett’s body was found inside his own home shot twice in the head.

    Himell took the stand saying he confessed to her about Smith's murder while she was wired for the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office to get his confession recorded.

    "He said that he shot him in the head when the man entered his home, then he put him in a barrel, drew holes in the barrel and placed him in the river where he would never be found," Himell said.

    Arlene Randall who shares a son with the suspect and dated him for several years, testified Francise admitted to her that he had shot and killed Smith because he suspected the victim has stolen his air compressor while working for Francise in 1991.

    She said the night Smith was killed, Francise took him to the home the couple shared and confronted him about the stolen equipment, which Smith denied taking. When things got heated, Randall said Francise ordered her to leave the house. The following day she heard rumors Smith, who was 30 years old at the time, had been murdered.

    Randall said Francise admitted to killing the man when she confronted him about it.

    "I basically told him, 'There's no way you took a human life over an air compressor?' " she said. "He told me: Yes he did."
    Years later, Randall said she also tried to warn Barrett that Francise would kill him for filing a workman's compensation lawsuit against him. Barrett, who was 53 when he died, was doing "spot jobs" for Francise at the time.

    Randall said her former boyfriend stalked Barrett before he killing him. She claimed she saw Barrett at a gas station days before he was to appear in court and told him to go to the Sheriff's Office because he was in danger. Barrett told her he wasn't afraid of Francise, she said.

    "I was at court the morning of George's hearing and he never showed up," Randall testified on the stand Monday. "When he didn't show up I looked over at Tommy and he told me, 'George won't be showing up.' "
    Last edited by JusticeWillBeServed; 11-01-2016 at 08:41 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Grand jury indicts Plaquemine man in two killings; one happened 25 years ago - December 8th


    An Iberville Parish grand jury on Thursday indicted a 61-year-old man on two counts of second-degree murder for the slayings of two men, one of whom was killed 25 years ago.

    Tommy Francise is accused of killing Curtis "Cochise" Smith, who was last seen alive on Feb. 21, 1991, in Plaquemine; and George Barrett, who was discovered dead in his Plaquemine home on March 2, 2002, with two bullet wounds to his head. Both men had previously worked for Francise in varying capacities.

    "The wheels of justice turn slow, but they always turn," Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi said Thursday in response to the grand jury proceedings.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Laissez les bons temps rouler
    Iberville Parish man charged in cold case murders back in court


    A man accused of two murders, more than a decade apart is expected to to be in court.

    Tommy Francise has been in jail since October of 2016. He is expected to be back at the Iberville Parish Courthouse for a motions hearing.

    Francise is charged in the 1991 murder of Curtis Smith and the 2002 killing of George Barrett. Both crimes went unsolved for years until new evidence pointed to Francise.

    According to Iberville Sheriff Brett Stassi, Francise allegedly had a confrontation with Smith over stolen equipment. Investigators reported that witness testimony claims that the two men were to meet at Francise's home.

    Help Identify Lake Pontchartrain Jane Doe - Slidell, Louisiana - June 19, 1986

    Red/Brown (Auburn) Hair, 5'2-5'4, 20-30 yrs old, perfect teeth absence of wisdom, Scars; right knee, abdomen, right wrist, prior right hip injury, possible nose surgery, breast implants, 8-12 wks pregnant, marking of a ring left hand ring finger

    LSU Faces: http://identifyla.lsu.edu/profile.php?id=383
    NAMUS: https://identifyus.org/cases/852
    Doe: http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/16ufla.html

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