Body found in Shreveport parking lot may be missing woman - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Body found in Shreveport parking lot may be missing woman

44-year-old Michelle Gouthiere (family picture) 44-year-old Michelle Gouthiere (family picture)
Shreveport and Caddo detectives surround car containing decomposed body. Shreveport and Caddo detectives surround car containing decomposed body.
Personnel with the Caddo coroners office load the body into a vehicle for transport. Personnel with the Caddo coroners office load the body into a vehicle for transport.

By Katrina Webber - email | bio

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The discovery of a decomposed body in a Shreveport parking lot may help Caddo Parish sheriff's detectives close a month old missing persons case.

Shreveport detectives who arrived at the scene notified their counterparts in Caddo Parish.  According to Lt. Bill Rehak with the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office, the vehicle matched one belonging to a 44-year-old woman reported missing June 27th.

Shreveport Police Department spokeswoman Kacee Hargrave says investigators believe the body is that of 44-year-old Michelle Gouthiere, but an official identification from the coroner's office has not been made. 

Hargrave says a passerby discovered the body after 9 a. m. Tuesday in a car that was parked near Summer Grove Baptist Church.  The passerby noticed a flat tire and then looked in the window where he saw the body, she said.

"She was lying in the back seat on her back," Hargrave said.  "There didn't appear to be any obvious trauma."

Hargrave said it's unclear exactly how long the car and body had been there.  But Orin Smith, who works nearby said he had seen the vehicle parked in the same spot for quite some time.

"It's been here a couple of weeks," Smith said.  "I've noticed it and actually said something to our maintenance supervisor.

"Right now, the city detectives are investigating it as though it's a homicide," he said, "but we have not ran across any signs of foul play."

Rehak said the woman's daughter reported her missing four days after relatives last saw her.  He said family members told detectives the woman had been despondent and having personal problems.  She also had been taking several prescription medications, he said.

"With that being a possibility, the wrong mixture or too many of them could cause death.  But right now, we don't know until the coroners office does their investigation."

Rehak said in the meantime, detectives planned to notify the missing woman's family about the body that had been found.  He said the woman's mother was scheduled to undergo surgery at a local hospital today.




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