Covington Man Arrested in Double Homicide of Severely Burned Victims
Two unidentified victims were found "burned beyond recognition," Covington police said after they were called to the scene. They began an investigation into the apparent double homicide. By Monday evening, Antonio Donde Tyson of Covington had been taken into custody.
Tyson was booked with 2 counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree kidnapping, two counts of obstruction, 1 count of resisting an officer and 1 count of possession of stolen things.
“This is a very sad day for the City of Covington," Mayor Mark Johnson of Covington said in a statement. "We lift up our prayers for the victims, their families, and our community. We like to think our city is immune from these tragedies, but we are not. I would like to commend Chief Michael Ferrell and the Covington PD for their swift and professional action.”
Father Daniel Brouillette of Covington told WWL-TV in New Orleans that Father Young and Prats had not been seen since Sunday. He said that he is "unsettled and staying prayerful" about the situation as he awaits the identification of the bodies.
Two Catholic schools in Covington, St. Scholastica Academy and St. Peter School, also released students early due to the proximity to the scene and police investigation activity, according to the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
Authorities in Covington were met with a horrific scene after the discovery of two homicide victims, both of whom were burned beyond recognition, according to reports.
St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper released a statement regarding the crime:
“Our hearts have been shattered by this unfathomable crime. We stand behind the Covington Police Department and St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office as they investigate this heinous action. Please join me in praying for the families and friends of the victims and the entire Covington community.”
Officers responded to a call around 7 a.m. Monday morning after two the two victims were found. Other details regarding the investigation are not available at this time, but there are reports that police are questioning two persons of interest.
The victims are rumored to be Covington priest Otis Young and his assistant, Ruth Pratts, according to WGNO reporter Jordan Lippincott.
Young's church, St. Peter, acknowledged that there were rumors regarding the victims' identities, but did not name them or confirm the report.