News release from Rayne Police Dept...
The Rayne Police Department continues to make headway in its investigation into the series of discoveries of human remains at St. Joseph Church. On Tuesday, May 23, 2023, St. Joseph Church staff reported another human bone left on the steps of the church. The bone was found without any note or other items with it unlike the May 18th discovery.
Subsequently, detectives with the Rayne Police Department identified Russell “Rusty” Richard (44) of Rayne as the alleged suspect in the May 18th and 23rd incidents.
After being identified and questioned by detectives, Mr. Richard has cooperated and has identified the cemetery on the north side of Roberts Cove Hwy, just outside of Rayne, as the source of the stolen bones.
Chief Stelly said, "This is a unique case, and we appreciate the patience and support of the community and the congregation of St. Joseph Church as we continue our investigation. Investigators are in the process of trying to identify family members of the stolen bones. Mr. Richard claimed his motive was to have the bones blessed and properly reburied.”
Detectives have obtained an arrest warrant for Russell “Rusty” Richard for (2) counts of illegal possession of human remains in violation of LA R.S. 25:955.