NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Newly obtained video shows the moment an apparent passerby discovers the body of former Tulane grad Thomas Rolfes. The video, however, doesn't answer the question about whether or not the victim was killed in the same spot where his body was found.
The video is from a phone repair shop near where Rolfes' body was found. It was taken in low light, but it does show a passerby discovering the body.
The person walks up to the body at 4:26 a.m. and eventually seems to use some sort of flashlight to get a closer look. Before long, two more people arrive and surround the body.
Rolfes died of a gunshot wound to the chest. He and his fiancée, Liz Fried, had traveled to New Orleans only hours before he was killed to pick a venue for their upcoming wedding.
"At this time we believe the motive is robbery, and at some point, the robbery turned deadly," said NOPD Chief Michael Harrison.
"He was found with his pockets turned inside out and his wallet was missing, which was why they were not able to identify him until I called," Fried.
Police said they found injuries to his hands indicating there may have been a struggle before he was killed. It's still unclear if Rolfes was shot in the same location where his body was found.
The surveillance video we obtained doesn't show what unfolded before the passerby walks up to the body. When asked if police found shell casings at Amelia and South Claiborne, Harrison didn't answer the question.
"Right now we have the answer to that, but right now we're working to figure out how he got from point A, to point B to point C," Harrison said.
Rolfes arrived in New Orleans on Friday at 9 p.m. He met some friends at Ms. Mae's bar on Magazine Street at 12:30 a.m., and left at 2:40 Saturday morning.
Rolfes shows up again on surveillance video more than 2 miles away at the Delta Fuel station at 3300 South Claiborne. By then, it was 3:30 a.m.
"He purchased two bottles of water and he come from this way and then he come back this side, ya know," said Hussan Muntadhir, who works at Delta Fuel.
It was an hour later when Rolfes was found just a block away from the gas station.
"Hopefully we can get some footage to show if he was with someone. We're just trying to get some answers," Fried said.
With so many unanswered questions, police are asking people to review their video cameras from the area of Ms. Mae's to the area where Rolfes' body was found. They're trying to piece together exactly what happened before and after the murder.