Just months after being released from prison, a convicted rapist is accused of killing two people and leaving their burned bodies in downtown Covington, Louisiana.
The Covington Police Department said the victims were burned “beyond recognition” when they were discovered behind a glass-making company in Covington’s downtown district around 7 a.m. Monday. It was reported that an employee showed up for work that morning to find the bodies.
Police arrested 49-year-old Antonio Donde Tyson of Covington hours after the victims were found. He was booked on two counts each of first-degree murder, second-degree kidnapping and obstruction of justice. In addition to resisting an officer, he is accused of illegal possession of stolen items.
A retired pastor and a pastoral associate, Father Otis Young and Ruth Prats, who disappeared a day earlier, were linked to the investigation in several early reports. On Tuesday afternoon, the coroner’s office identified Father Young as one of the victims, adding that he died due to blunt force trauma. DNA testing is pending for the second victim’s identity.
In response to the killings, the church held a prayer vigil late Monday night.
In a social media post, St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper said, “This unfathomable crime has broken our hearts. Please join me in praying for the families and friends of the victims as well as the entire Covington community as they investigate this heinous action. We stand alongside the Covington Police Department and St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office.”
It was also revealed on Tuesday that Tyson, the alleged killer, had just been released from prison after serving 30 years of a 40-year sentence for rape, armed robbery and aggravated burglary. Despite being convicted in 1993, Tyson was eligible for early release as early as 2012, and he was released in August after meeting certain conditions, according to Department of Corrections officials.