St. Tammany Parish officials held a news conference Wednesday updating the public on the arrests made in connection to a couple found submerged in a car at a Pearl River boat ramp.
The bodies of Raegan Elizabeth Day and Dustin Hartline were recovered Monday from the area of the East Pearl River Boat Launch on Highway 90.
Day and Hartline were last seen leaving their Pearl River-area residence February 15 and were headed to a family member’s home in Kenner. When they did not show up, family members reported them missing, and a community-wide search ensued.
Four people have been arrested in connection with the case. Each has been arrested and booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail on two counts each of first-degree murder.
According to Sheriff Randy Smith, the investigation revealed that the deaths of Day and Hartline stemmed from a carjacking gone bad. Smith said the motive of the case was robbery.
The investigation determined that after leaving their residence Day and Hartline travelled under false pretense to a residence on Salmen Avenue in Slidell.
Smith said Savell knew Day, and that she set-up the meeting to discuss possibly buying the car they were in. Smith said the crime was premeditated.
The suspects had masks and guns in an attempt to steal their car. Smith said they used force to take the car.
Smith said the suspects were hiding in Mississippi following the crime, and three weapons were recovered during the investigation. Two of those weapons are believed to be the murder weapons, according to Smith.
Sometime after, the bodies were driven in the Camaro to the East Pearl River Boat Launch on Hwy 90 at the state line, where the vehicle and bodies were disposed of in the river.
According to the St. Tammany Coroner, Day suffered two bullet wounds to the head, one to the front of her head and one to the back of her head.
Hartline suffered a single gunshot wound to the back of his head, the coroner said..
Due to the amount of time the bodies were underwater, the bodies were significantly decomposed but the coroner was able to identify them off their tattoos.
The full news conference can be viewed below:
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