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Sheriff: Evidence in murder case found at bottom of lake

The investigative division of the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the Jan. 12 shooting death of Ja’Quarius Taylor, 17, of Varnado.

With assistance from other local, state and federal agencies, detectives are tracing all leads and were able to make a significant evidence discovery on Thursday, when the dive team from the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office searched the bottom of the lake near where the body was discovered. The team was able to recover a key piece of evidence, which is now being processed by a federal law enforcement crime lab.

WPSO officials did not immediately offer more details about what the piece of evidence was.

“We have reached out to our law enforcement partners on the local, state and federal levels,” Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal said. “Our intent is to leave no stone unturned as all agencies work together to solve this senseless murder. We want justice for Ja’Quarius and his family and are working diligently to discover the identity of the coward who took this amazing young man from our community.

“Please be patient with us as we take the necessary investigative steps to ensure evidence is properly collected and processed so that the murderer, whoever he or she might be, can be successfully prosecuted. Meanwhile, I ask everyone to keep this family, our community and our investigative team in your prayers.”