Suspicious death in Slidell now ruled homicide

Updated: Jul. 31, 2018 at 12:42 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Slidell Police are now ruling a suspicious death investigation a homicide.

MOBILE USERS: Click here to watch an update from the police chief live at 1:30 p.m.

Monday afternoon the Slidell Police Department responded to 1005 Paige Court for a welfare check after a concerned family member had not seen or heard from her sister for several days.

Officers found a female body with "unusual" injuries.

The victim's vehicle was also missing from the residence, according to the report.

Slidell Police crime scene investigators and the St. Tammany Parish Coroner's Office processed the crime scene and determined that the body had multiple stab wounds.

Tuesday the St. Tammany Parish Coroner, Dr. Charles Preston identified the victim as 65-year-old Dianne Bercy.

Preston ruled the manner of death to be a homicide and the cause of death to be multiple stab wounds.

Slidell Police investigators have identified a person of interest in this case as 39-year-old, Kenya Despenza, who is the niece of the victim, according to the report.

Despenza was found to be in possession of the victim's stolen vehicle, and has since been arrested for theft of a motor vehicle and also an unrelated failure to appear attachment.

The investigation is still on-going.

No arrest has been made in reference to the homicide; however, investigators are very confident an arrest will be made in the upcoming days as soon as certain pieces of evidence are finished being forensically processed.

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