Dog Finds Severed Hand; Police Find Body

A dog found gnawing on a severed human hand led to the discovery of a decomposing body in the woods behind a seafood shop in Washington Parish, the sheriff and coroner said Friday.

It started 10 days ago, when the owners of Paul's Seafood called authorities after they found their dog with the decomposing hand. But the owners are Korean, and the authorities didn't understand what they were trying to tell them.

The owners buried the hand, and then another call to the sheriff brought search crews out in force Friday.

"They had buried the hand because they did not know what to do with it," said Sheriff Robert Crowe.

Cadaver dogs searched the area Friday and found nothing. Forensic experts from Louisiana State University arrived Friday afternoon and helped scour the dense, wooded area.

"We found a decomposed body laying across a log and we are fixing to go ahead and rope off additional territory," Crowe said late Friday.

The find begged the obvious question -- did the body have only one hand? But Coroner Roger Casama said decomposition, heat and dense woods make it difficult to be sure.

"I saw what appears to be human remains, a skull, and a few other things," Casama said.

The sheriff's office has only one outstanding missing persons case. A man vanished two years ago. They are now checking with other jurisdictions, but apparently had been there for a while.

The remains have been removed, and the LSU forensics team is taking them back to Baton Rouge for analysis.

If you have information that may help investigators, contact the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office or CrimeStoppers at 504-822-1111.

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