Cops Probe Mystery Death at Audubon

New Orleans States-Item, 17 Aug 1963, pg 1

[Newspaper photo caption reads] Sheet covers body found in mysterious death in Audubon Park this morning.

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Marks Show Man’s Body Is Dragged

A grasscutter discovered the bruised body of an unidentified middle-aged man in Audubon Park today. Police said there was evidence he had been dragged 30 feet from a roadway to the spot where his body was found.

Officers believed the man was killed by a hit-and-run car or is a homicide victim.

Dr. Lloyd Locascio, assistant coroner, said the body bore marks of injury, including lacerations and abrasions of the knees, face and shoulders.

An autopsy showed the an suffered a fractured larynx, hemorrhage and multiple abrasions. Classification of the death was delayed, however, pending further investigation, the Orleans Parish coroner’s office reported.

Behind Tree The man, in his late 40s, was found face down behind a tree alongside Audubon Parks’s River dr., not far from Shelter House No. 7, about 6:15 a.m.

There was no identification on the body. The man was clad in khaki shirt and trousers and wore heavy black boots. Drag marks led from the road to the tree. A cigarette lighter was lying in the road 40 feet from the body.

Dr. Locascio estimated the man had been dead since between midnight and 2 a.m. There were no tire marks on the roadway and no shattered glass. The victim had only a few coins in his pocket. Det. Sgt. R. J. Blake said it was obvious the man had been dragged from near the side of the road.

Face Cut The dead man’s face was cut and there was a small amount of blood on the ground under his head. Police said he was dragged by the feet. August Bertrand, Negro, 63, 7470 Hurst, a grasscutter employed by Audubon Park, said he found the body as he left the park office on his tractor to begin work. Bertrand told park watchman Philip Schneider, 60, 5947 Annunciation, and Schneider called police.

Efforts were being made to identify the man through fingerprints.

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