NATCHITOCHES, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A man wanted for the murder of a LaSalle Parish man whose body was found in a Natchitoches Parish oxidation pond earlier this year has been captured in Lake Charles, according to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Kendrick Cox, 30, was the subject of a six-month manhunt by multiple law enforcement agencies since a warrant was issued for his arrest in February in connection with the death of 35-year-old Joshua Lee Humphries of Trout, Louisiana.
Humphries’ body was recovered from an oxidation pond near the Payne sub-division on the night of Feb. 1 by NPSO detectives and a Lasalle Parish detective, who were following up on leads related to his disappearance reported on January 13.
Humphries’ vehicle was found abandoned in Natchitoches by Natchitoches police just before he was reported missing. He was known to frequent the Alexandria and possibly the Natchitoches areas. An investigation that included the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Police, Natchitoches Police, Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office and other agencies ultimately led to the discovery of his body in the pond.
Detectives said the body had been in the water for several days.
The case was ruled a homicide. However, detectives are still not releasing the cause of death due to the sensitivity of the investigation. The sheriff’s office says that information will be released in criminal proceedings.
The Natchitoches investigation into Humphries’ death lead to the arrest days of 30-year-old James E. Morrow Jr. of Natchitoches a few days after the body was discovered. Morrow has been indicted by a Natchitoches Grand Jury on a charge of second-degree murder and he remains held at the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.
Cox was captured Friday in Lake Charles between 4:00 p.m. and 5 p.m. by Lake Charles PD, their SWAT Unit and other agencies following a surveillance operation of Lake Charles apartment complex into an ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by Lake Charles PD Detectives. Investigators say an unidentified male picked him up in a vehicle at the apartment complex. As officers were attempting to initiate a traffic stop, Cox fled from the vehicle. He was taken into custody a short distance away.
Details of the Lake Charles investigation will be released by their agency later, according to NPSO. Cox was taken to the Lake Charles Police Department for processing and will be booked into jail with a hold from Natchitoches Parish for first-degree murder.
Detectives say the investigation is continuing and they continue to work with Lake Charles Police and analyze evidence, as they attempt to identify and arrest anyone who may have assisted Cox during his 6-month run from justice, according to Sheriff Wright.
“We continue to extend our condolences to the Humphries family and hope that the arrests of Cox and Morrow will bring them closer to justice in the months to come,” Sheriff Wright said in a statement on the arrest. “We are also thankful that all Lake Charles Police Officers involved in the arrest of Cox – a dangerous suspect who was armed at the time of his capture will return to their families safely this evening. We thank the media and the public that assisted us during this investigation.The Natchitoches Parish District Attorney’s Office also assisted in the investigation.”