Scott Satchfield / Eyewitness News
GRAMERCY, La. - Authorities say the man who jumped off the Mississippi River Bridge in Gramercy may be connected to three murders in Jefferson Parish and at least one violent crime in Baton Rouge.
State troopers chased the suspect, 22-year-old Kylan Laurent of Vacherie, Tuesday afternoon in St. James Parish before the pursuit ended abruptly on the bridge.
"It ended when the suspect brought his vehicle to a stop here on the shoulder of the bridge and jumped over the edge of the bridge," said Trp. Russell Graham, a spokesman for Louisiana State Police Troop A.
Troopers initially gave chase because Laurent was identified in connection with a crime battery and false imprisonment case in Baton Rouge.
Kenner Police also wanted to speak with Laurent in connection with a murder at a hotel, Monday night, just a few blocks from Armstrong International Airport.
There, employees found the body of 22 year old Anita McDonald of Flowood, Mississippi, in a room on the third floor.
"It appears it was from asphyxiation,” said Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway.“There was some ligature marks on her neck and her hands consistent with the strangulation."
Now, authorities from across several parishes are comparing notes on the suspect, who sources say could be connected to numerous crimes, including a murder two weeks ago at a La Quinta Hotel in Metairie.
"We will work with the other agencies that may of had similar incidents to determine if there is a pattern. Certainly, there are a lot of similarities in the last two (murders)," Caraway said.
Victims in both the Kenner and Metairie murders were strangled, police said, and both had histories of prostitution activity.
As the afternoon wore on, Tuesday, the search continued for Laurent in the Mississippi River, beneath the Gramercy Bridge.
Authorities say they’ll continue searching the area until they find the suspect.