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METAIRIE, La. -- Detectives are now investigating as a homicide the death of a man whose body was discovered by drivers traveling through a Metairieneighborhood early Saturday morning.

According to Jefferson Parish Sheriff's spokesman Col. John Fortunato, a driver called 911 about 4:30 a.m. Saturday to report the body of Robert Mercadal Jr., 26, 104 Hesper Ave., lying on the side of the road near Metairie Lawn Dr. and Fagot Ave., not far from his home.

The driver and two other people who also spotted the body first thought Mercadal was suffering massive head trauma and called for an ambulance, Fortunato said in a news release.

Mercadal was taken by EMS to University Hospital in New Orleans, where doctors later determined he had been shot in the head.

He was pronounced dead shortly before 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Detectives are now working to find a suspect and motive in his death. Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestoppers at 504.822.1111.
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