Search underway for La. man accused of killing parents, 3 other people

Search underway for La. man accused of killing parents, 3 other people

GONZALES, La. (WVUE) - Five people are dead in two neighboring parishes, and law enforcement believes one man is responsible: 21-year-old Dakota Theriot.

Officials from both the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office said the bodies were found moments apart.

Both of Theriot’s parents were found shot to death inside a mobile home in Gonzales, officials said. His mother, 50-year-old Elizabeth Theriot, was pronounced dead on the scene, but his father, Keith Theriot, was still alive, according to Ascension Parish Bobby Webre.

Keith Theriot told investigators his son was responsible, Webre said, but he died at the hospital a short while later.

Webre said Dakota Theriot briefly lived at his parents home, but “was recently asked to leave the residence and not to return.”

Michael Logan lives nearby the Theriots and said he was shocked by his neighbor’s gruesome end.

“To kill your parents you have to be some kind of disturbed,” Logan said.

After learning what happened, Logan and other neighbors said at first they were frightened and concerned the suspect may still be in the area.

“Young kids, wife and everything so I was just worried, if they have the guy, is he out on the run or whatever so that was kind of the first thought,” Logan said.

Fellow Gonzales resident Kaleb Watson also has a young family. He and Logan both said they have never witnessed such bloodshed so close to home.

“[It’s] just a quiet little suburban neighborhood, rural neighborhood,” Watson said. “This is my first time seeing something like this.”

Related: 21-year-old wanted for slaying of parents, 3 others in Louisiana

Residents near Walker, where the other three bodies were found, are equally dumbfounded.

The three killed in Livingston were identified as 43-year-old Billy Ernest , 20-year-old Summer Ernest and 17-year-old Tanner Ernest. According to our partners at WAFB in Baton Rouge, authorities believe the shootings stemmed from a “boyfriend girlfriend type of dispute.” Walker neighbors told WAFB reporters Dakota Theriot was dating Summer Ernest and he had recently moved into her family’s home.

As of Saturday night, there was no word on why Dakota Theriot allegedly killed his parents.

“Right now, we have five victims,” Webre said. “Five dead family members, and there’s a lot of family members out there who are hurting right now. And our prayers go out to those family members, and they’re looking at us to do our job and solve this crime."

Officials said once he is located, Theriot will be charged with two counts of first-degree murder out of Ascension Parish and an addition three counts of first-degree murder out of Livingston Parish.

Ascension Parish officials say Dakota Theriot could be headed to the New Orleans metro area. Our partners at WAFB in Baton Rouge reported he could also be somewhere in Mississippi.

Investigators believe he is traveling in a Dodge Ram he stole from the Ernest’s home. It’s a 2004 four-door pickup gray and silver pickup truck with license plate number C 583 809. Police said Theriot has two tattoos -- a ying-yang symbol on his right forearm and a cross on his chest.

Anyone with information about the killings or Theriot’s whereabouts should call detectives at 225-686-2241 or Crimestoppers at 225-344-7867.

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