MADISONVILLE, La. - Authorities are pulling out all the stops to find a missing Alabama woman. The 26-year-old hasn't been seen since her boyfriend was involved in a public suicide attempt over the weekend.
Authorities say the man in a cell phone video provided to Eyewitness News is Jonathon Nall from Alabama, who spent more than two hours Saturday threatening suicide in front of a convenience store on Hwy. 1077.
The man who shot the video said it was a nerve-racking experience.
“I was actually on the phone, and he saw that I was on the phone and told me to film it, so that's what I was doing," Bruce Primes said.
But the Quick Way wasn't Nall's first stop that morning.
A nearby business owner, who asked not to be identified, said, “At our business, he came in through the back door and he had a gun to his head. And the lady that answers our phones on Saturdays saw him. He went up to her with the gun to his head and said call the government. Call the federal government. And then he walked out the back door."
St. Tammany deputies later disarmed Nall by shooting him with a bean bag gun. He remains under psychiatric evaluation.
But Monday, detectives tried to back-track Nall's steps even further, with a helicopter and ATV search, to figure out what happened to the woman last seen with him, 26-year-old Melinda Denny.
“It’s very possible that she returned to Alabama. It’s possible she went on to Texas," Sheriff Jack Strain said. "We know the couple was traveling from Mobile, Alabama, passing through St. Tammany, heading to Texas, and ran into some money problems and that's why they stopped in our parish."
Strain said the couple was encountered around 1:30 a.m. Saturday after Nall’s mother called deputies to check on them. Deputies found the couple in a red Jeep, in the Winn-Dixie parking lot on Hwy. 21, showing no signs of any problems, but with a weapon. No ammunition was found at that time.
That vehicle was found in a neighborhood near the convenience store after the Saturday incident, but no sign of Denny.
Strain said evidence has been found to indicate the possibility of foul play, but they're keeping every option open as the search continues into another day.
Strain also said their search includes the path the pair took from Alabama and planned to take to Texas.
If you saw the couple or their car anywhere other than the Winn-Dixie on Hwy. 21 or the Quick Way on Highway 1077, authorities ask that you call 985-809-8200.