Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
COVINGTON, LA - The St. Tammany Parish Coroner's Office is trying to figure out the identities of two men who were found dead in a parked car Saturday morning.
While deputies say it is still unclear exactly what happened in a quiet area of Covington, they say the victims went through obvious trauma.
The Abita Lakes subdivision is a secluded neighborhood of homes in the $400,000 to $500,000 price range, each sitting on a one-acre estate. But Saturday morning one neighbor called 911 to report a suspicious SUV at the end of one of the streets where no homes have been built. It was in the cul-de-sac of Acadia Park Lane where St. Tammany sheriff's deputies found the bodies of two men.
Neighbors say this area of Covington, just one mile north of Abita Springs, is normally peaceful.
"It's such a nice quite neighborhood and we moved here kind of for that aspect of it, so it was a real shock," said Francis Plaisance, who lives in the Abita Lakes subdivision.
Police say there were obvious signs of trauma to the bodies of the victims. They removed the 2003 champagne-colored Chevrolet Tahoe from the dead end street but guarded the crime scene for most of the afternoon. Neighbors say they have seen unusual things happening on this undeveloped street in the community.
"Well I've seen some young kids actually back there camping. I went there on a Saturday morning and they had a couple of pup tents up and a little camp fire, so it's used I think a little bit by the local kids to camp and probably used it as lovers' lane as well," said Plaisance.
When asked if the kids he saw were residents of the community, he said, "I would have to believe it was people from outside the neighborhood."
"There's nothing built back there yet. We often see cars coming in and out of there, late, in the middle of the night and wondering what's going on back there. Some people do drop garbage and junk back there and we just guess that's what's going on but who knows," said Toni Nadler, who just moved out of the neighborhood a month ago but is a real estate agent in the area.
But there is no garbage dumped on these unsold lots.
While no one from the St Tammany Sheriff's office would talk to Eyewitness News on camera, they did say the car had a Mississippi license plate.
Deputies spent the day and evening in the command center near the entrance to the subdivision. They were in hopes that someone would stop in and give them information about anything they remember seeing.
"We talked to the St. Tammany Sheriff's Office and a spokesman said that deputies will not release the 911 call that came in, nor will they release photographs of the car where the bodies were found. They said they would do all of that on Monday at a press conference.
If you noticed any unusual activity in that area, call the St. Tammany Sheriff's Office at 985-898-2338.