NEW ORLEANS -- Louisiana State Police troopers under investigation for taking a lavish detour to Las Vegas on the tax payers dime apparently deleted every text message they sent or received during the road trip according to a report from our partners at The New Orleans Advocate.

The agency has not determined whether they did so intentionally.

It is also possible, if unlikely, that the troopers went nearly two weeks without sending or receiving a single work-related text message as they drove across the country, billing taxpayers for thousands of dollars in overtime and pricey hotel rooms that were hundreds of miles out of their way.

A third possibility is that the messages were automatically purged from the troopers' cellphones under a customized retention setting that is neither spelled out nor forbidden by State Police policy.

The uncertainty about the messages — sought by The Advocate in a February public-records request — is one of many unknowns surrounding the controversial October trip, which spawned three separate state investigations and hastened the retirement of Col. Mike Edmonson, the longtime State Police superintendent.

A review of text messages, were they available, might have shed light on how much other officials knew about the troopers' side trip.

For more, visit The Advocate's website.