Killing Fields murder victim Eugenie Boisfontaine photos and case details

Killing Fields murder victim Eugenie Boisfontaine photo

Discovery Channel will be getting into the popular true crime genre with the documentary series Killing Fields premiering January 5. The series looks to be a mixture of Serial and True Detective, and it focuses on the recently reopened unsolved murder case of Eugenie Boisfontaine: a Baton Rouge, Louisiana graduate student who went missing in 1997, and whose decomposing body was found months later in a bayou near a bar.

The original officer assigned to the case was now-retired detective Rodie Sanchez, who reveals in the premiere episode that he never could get Eugenie’s unsolved murder out of his head, and that he kept a photo of her by his desk as a daily reminder.

Killing Fields Detective Rodie Sanchez

Rodie (photo above) comes out of retirement when the case is reopened, and he teams up with “young hot-shot detective” Aubrey St. Angelo (and the rest of the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s office) to try to crack the case using modern advancements in forensic science and DNA analysis. Of course, none of those advancements are a substitute for good old-fashioned police work, and Brodie and Aubrey do a LOT of that as well.

So: what do we know about the murder of Eugenie Boisfontaine? There is surprisingly little information online, but I did manage to track down a book titled Blood Bath by Susan Mustafa that includes a great synopsis of the case.

The book, originally titled I’ve Been Watching You: The South Louisiana Serial Killer, is about Louisiana serial killer Derrick Todd Lee, who has been linked to the murder of five women in Baton Rouge–though many speculate the actual number is as high as seventeen. What does Derrick Todd Lee have to do with Eugenie Boisfontaine? More on that later. First, here is a summary of what we know about her disappearance and murder:

34-year-old divorcee Eugenie Boisfontaine was a graduate student at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She lived in a garage apartment off of Stanford Avenue, which was across the lake from the LSU campus. According to friends and family, Eugenie used to occasionally take walks around the lake, and it is possible that it was during one of those walks that she was abducted.

On June 14, 1997, Eugenie’s credit cards were found by a visiting professor who was jogging on the lake path. The professor turned her credit cards over to security, and they were placed in a basket and left at Eugenie’s front door.

The basket was discovered by Eugenie’s family, who had come to Baton Rouge to check on her after not hearing from her. After seeing the cards, Eugenie’s family reported her disappearance to police and hired a private investigator, the latter of whom later found Eugenie’s keys by the lake.

The theory that Eugenie was taken while walking around the lake was reinforced by the fact that there were no signs of forced entry at her apartment, and her car was parked in her driveway.

Eugenie Boisfontaine murder

It was nearly two months later before there was any new information on the case, and that information was a confirmation of everyone’s worst fears. On August 7, a woman walking her dogs along an alley near the Alligator Bayou Bar found Eugenie’s decomposed body in a bayou, partially hidden under a tire. Dental records confirmed the body was that of Eugenie Boisfontaine. Evidence showed she had died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Eugenie’s sister, Susan Edwards, tells the author that she was not happy at all with how the crime scene was handled:

It was really awful. I begged police to do something about DNA, to stake off the area, anything. I thought they might be able to find who did this by the DNA that was found. Joe Freeman, the coroner in Iberville Parish, told me they didn’t even have the money to buy body bags. Joe Freeman was a nightmare. He was so rude, and nothing was ever done.

 

The only viable piece of evidence detectives had to work with was a pair of “shredded” black panties found wrapped around Eugenie’s left leg. The panties were sent off to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab to be tested, but they were misplaced and remained lost for years.

Dannie Mixon, who worked in the attorney general’s office at the time, denies claims that coroner Joe Freeman lost the evidence. “The state police tried to say that Joe Freeman lost them,” Dannie says, “but they were found by a police officer, Chris Romero, in a refrigerator in the police crime lab a few years later.”

Discovery Killing Fields murder victim Eugenie Boisfontaine

In 2002, two more women were found murdered, and the crimes were linked together by DNA evidence. Another link between the two new victims was that they both lived on Stanford Avenue–the same street that Eugenie lived on when she disappeared.

The two women were later determined to be victims of serial killer Derrick Todd Lee. Here is a mug shot photo of Derrick Todd Lee:

Derrick Todd Lee serial killer mug shot

Although no hard evidence  (aside from the street address) connected Derrick Todd Lee to Eugenie Boisfontaine, author Susan Mustafa does an amazing job of putting together the circumstantial evidence that suggests a plausible connection:

Todd was working in the vicinity of where Eugenie’s body was found in the days prior to her disappearance. As a driver for Louisiana Ready Mix, Todd delivered cement over a large geographic area around Baton Rouge. Several times in the weeks before Eugenie’s murder, Todd picked up deliveries of cement on Highway 30 in the towns of Prairieville and Gonzales in Ascension Parish. Highway 30 crosses Bayou Manchae. Eugenie was found on the east side of the Mississippi River, near Prairieville. Todd was known to enjoy hanging out at bars after work, so it is not inconceivable that he would have made his way to the Alligator Bayou Bar while working in the area. On June 12, Todd picked up a delivery in Prairieville from a company called Lonestar, but he did not show up for work on June 13, the day Eugenie disappeared.

After Todd’s capture, several men who had been building a fence near Eugenie’s residence in the week she disappeared reported seeing a man who looked like the man they had seen in news reports prowling around in her backyard when they returned from lunch.

 

As I mentioned, all of this was purely circumstantial.

However, in late 2005, the DNA from the panties found on Eugenie’s body were analyzed by ReliaGene Technologies, Inc., and their preliminary findings were that the DNA did not match that of Derrick Todd Lee.

Louisiana’s WAFB did an article earlier this year about the reopening of the Eugenie Boisfontaine murder case and Discovery Channel’s involvement:

The Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office has teamed up with the Discovery Channel, which has opened the door to new resources like sonar and advanced DNA testing. In turn, the case will be featured in an upcoming new television series.

Investigators have also returned to the case’s roots, interviewing old witnesses and approaching the investigation with a fresh perspective. Stassi said the latest interviews have produced some promising leads and at least one name they are looking into.

 

“We’ve picked up some new leads,” Sheriff Brett Stassi said at the time. “We’ve developed some new evidence that wasn’t available at the original autopsy. We’re moving forward with that information.”

To find out the final conclusion of the investigation (I hope!), be sure to tune in to Killing Fields, premiering Tuesday, January 5 at 10/9c on Discovery Channel.



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  • Alisson Leech

    Nice story as usual Asa. Love it! I hope her murderer is caught.

    • Carl Woodard

      I hope so too

  • bambiglanville

    Asa, you write so well! Very good article. I kinda want to watch this show now in the hopes they find the culpit.

  • Brandy R. McKinnon

    I find it odd that the website states the last person to see ms. Boisfointaine is a bug exterminator who was at her home yet they don’t say anything about investigating him. And they assume that she went for a walk and was abducted on a walk. They really don’t know when she disappeared.
    I pray someone will grow a conscience and give this family the closure they need.

  • JujuBee

    Very informative article & it is interesting to hear the family’s perspective. Makes me wonder what else was botched? I agree they have no way of knowing the actual location where Eugenie was abducted! Her credit cards and keys were reportedly found by the lake near her apartment, which is quite a distance from where her body was found. But she could’ve been picked up at home by a “friend” or date and taken anywhere. The perp(s) could’ve simply thrown her keys & cards by the lake to get rid of them. Also questionable: if I were just going to walk to/around a lake near my apartment, I would have a house key and maybe ID in my pocket, but not credit cards! Why would you need those? Unless she was walking with her purse and got mugged and her purse and other contents were thrown into the lake, or elsewhere. Does anyone know whether her purse and wallet/ID were found at her home? After almost 20 years, I hope they will finally solve this case for her family.

  • Carl Woodard

    I hope they find whoever was responsible for killing her…she didn’t deserve this…

  • Carl Woodard

    I’ll be watching this from start to finish; I’ve already watched the first two episodes

  • Caleb

    Nice article.

    I was in high school when Eugenie was murdered but I have lived around the area.

    In my opinion the killer is Derrick Todd Lee or the ex husband was involved.

    If DTL did murder her, then this was the murder that really sparked his need for murder. His DNA was not found in every murder he’s been charged with, if I recall. He recently died in prison.

    I was in college at LSU when he went on his path of terror. However the Brpd was looking for a white male in a white pick up truck that alone resulted in hundreds orlf young men getting DNA swabbed.

    The show is somewhat cheesy especially the lead the cops receive which was only the name Robert.

    • Christie Roby

      Yea well when Derrick Todd Lee was questioned about all the woman he had murdered he never denied it even told them about 2 others that were not found and had been killed out if state. He was going to die anyway so why would he have lied about this one woman in particular. And if it had been him she would not have been the one to spark his urge to kill. Prior to any of the other murders he was linked to in La. He had murdered before.

      I believe it’s the ex husband.

  • Kybelle

    I have watched from the beginning and an very into it. I love Louisiana and have been to Iberville several times. I hope and pretty they find her killer is so sad fit her mother and family to have lost her period but for it to be unsolved is awful. The deserve closure.

  • Snow Sprite

    Derrick Todd Lee’s dna was excluded. They found what they believe could be as many as two or three men’s dna on her remains. If anyone can solve this case, it’s Rodie and Aubrey!

  • ripleyk

    I think if her ex had just been honest about maybe still having a sexual relationship with her, (her friend said it was very possible they were seeing each other again) they would not be looking at him so hard. Not one other person protested in giving their DNA or protested a visit to the sheriff’s office. Even the sisters of the man who had passed away gave their DNA so, he had to have known with all of those lawyers that his protest would send up red flags everywhere. It is also super shady that he got someone else pregnant while he was still married. Did they ever find out about life insurance? Though they were not married at the time of her death it looks like she loved him so much that she would have kept him on her policy to take care of her should something happen. With that new baby he had I am sure he could have used the money! I see comments about people who don’t care for the show for various reasons and questioning the investigation now and back in 1997 and wonder if people really know what type of scientific advancement we have made. Something small in 1997 could be HUGE today. I am sure they would like to open many cases like this, not to mention that by agreeing to do the show Discovery has made things available to them that normally they would not have like the ground surveying and advanced DNA. I like that they are taking advantage of it all!!! I don’t think Rodie has made Any secrets about the fact that things may not have been done that should have been and that he dropped the ball professionally and personally over the years and I suppose you need to be able to understand that to like him or the show. As far as the thick accent/draw the Cajun dialect is something all it’s own. My uncle was Cajun and lived in New Orleans and I remembering him calling everyone babe, even grown men lol! I saw Rodie do the very same thing to Aubrey in the car, call him babe and thought had that been anywhere else, Aubrey would have said WTH? However, it did not phase him one bit, but from seeing it first hand in my family I understood why. Sometimes being down there is like it’s own little country! I am sad to see most negative comments have been about seeing them in their normal life. I think it keeps things honest and I like the mystery shows, that being said, I can’t handle 45 minutes of hardcore death and sadness, I need to have something else to look at. My ex husband was a police officer and I think people would be shocked to see that 95% of their job would not make for good tv so, the filler is needed to make it work! Especially in real time. They are normal people doing a job so, of course they will have banter and normal conversation that has nothing to do with the case. It is better to hear about themselves from them personally because if they didn’t people would be all over the internet looking up their lives and saying things like, “That guy has been married 6 times, so who would trust him?” Or talking about hisI think if her ex had just been honest about maybe still having a sexual relationship with her, (her friend said it was very possible they were seeing each other again) they would not be looking at him so hard. Not one other person protested in giving their DNA or protested a visit to the sheriff’s office. Even the sisters of the man who had passed away gave their DNA so, he had to have known with all of those lawyers that his protest would send up red flags everywhere. It is also super shady that he got someone else pregnant while he was still married. Did they ever find out about life insurance? Though they were not married at the time of her death it looks like she loved him so much that she would have kept him on her policy to take care of her should something happen. With that new baby he had I am sure he could have used the money! I see comments about people who don’t care for the show for various reasons and questioning the investigation now and back in 1997 and wonder if people really know what type of scientific advancement we have made. Something small in 1997 could be HUGE today. I am sure they would like to open many cases like this, not to mention that by agreeing to do the show Discovery has made things available to them that normally they would not have like the ground surveying and advanced DNA. I like that they are taking advantage of it all!!! I don’t think Rodie has made Any secrets about the fact that things may not have been done that should have been and that he dropped the ball professionally and personally over the years and I suppose you need to be able to understand that to like him or the show. As far as the thick accent/draw the Cajun dialect is something all it’s own. My uncle was Cajun and lived in New Orleans and I remembering him calling everyone babe, even grown men lol! I saw Rodie do the very same thing to Aubrey in the car, call him babe and thought had that been anywhere else, Aubrey would have said WTH? However, it did not phase him one bit, but from seeing it first hand in my family I understood why. Sometimes being down there is like it’s own little country! I am sad to see most negative comments have been about seeing them in their normal life. I think it keeps things honest and I like the mystery shows, that being said, I can’t handle 45 minutes of hardcore death and sadness, I need to have something else to look at. My ex husband was a police officer and I think people would be shocked to see that 95% of their job would not make for good tv so, the filler is needed to make it work! Especially in real time. They are normal people doing a job so, of course they will have banter and normal conversation that has nothing to do with the case. It is better to hear about themselves from them personally because if they didn’t people would be all over the internet looking up their lives and saying things like, “That guy has been married 6 times, so who would trust him?” Or talking about his illness and anything else that may have an explanation. People would be making assumptions like mad!!! illness and anything else that may have an explanation. People would be making assumptions like mad!!!

  • Dumas911

    I wonder if they tried to compare the DNA to Sean Vincent Gillis? He was a second SK active during the same time as DTL, and even though he confessed to 8 voluntarily there’s a 5 yr gap between his 1st kill in 94 to his second in 99. Then he kills 3 in 99, 2 in 00, then goes quiet again until 1 in 03, and his last in 04??? Those 5 and 3 yr gaps bother me. He could’ve easily been responsible for Eugenie’s murder in 97. That woul bring the yr gaps all to an avg of 3 yrs in the supposed down times.

  • Voici_je

    Oh nooo…..im watching it in french now….and…i wanted to go little more.”…in the investigation…..so im here…and no
    w that i read your comments…im…upset…because…i was sure that they would have found her killer

  • Jeremy Butcher

    That was the same time Sean Vincent Gillis was stalking and killing women in Baton Rouge. He lived no more than a couple miles from the LSU lakes.

  • Dusty Porter

    This article says she was found in an alley by a woman. The show said she was found by two men spraying pesticide on a cane field.

    • Sister Boogie

      Stupid pssy fggot

      • Linn

        Was that comment necessary?

        • Chris Collins-bryson

          no it was not.

          • Chris Collins-bryson

            guess some people just can’t read what’s right in front of them in the article. just nuts.

      • Dusty Porter

        What’s your problem hoe?

    • Wally

      The 2 men spraying pesticide found the body of the teacher that was murdered by the assistant principle.

    • kimberly

      that’s NOT what the article says.

  • http://www.secretsfrommyapron.com Bea Long

    It’s sad they never found her killer. They did get the ex husband’s DNA and it didn’t match but they had multiple DNA results so either she was gang raped or she had multiple sex partners before she was killed which would lead you to think prostitution or something. Even at that she was not likely to have had multiple sex partners without cleaning up in between. This case doesn’t look like it will ever be solved. Not sure why the ex was so elusive or what he was so afraid of but his DNA didn’t match. The sheriff’s department wasn’t that good back then that’s for sure but with that said they had absolutely nothing to go on. #UnsolvedColdCaseFile