3 arrested after body of 19-year-old woman found in Maurepas

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MAUREPAS, LA (WAFB) –

Three men have been arrested after the body of a young woman was found in Maurepas on Mardi Gras Day.

The Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office reported John Cowart, 35, Justin Scivicque, 33, and Derek Williford, 28, were taken into custody after the body of Emily Rodgers, 19, of Ponchatoula was found on Tuesday around noon. It’s believed Cowart killed Rodgers. The other two men are accused of helping hide the fact Rodgers had been killed.

Sheriff Jason Ard says his deputies initially started investigating the case after Rodgers was reported missing on February 9. He added as detectives began looking into it, “foul play was immediately suspected because of conflicting stories from those close to the investigation.”

“This was a nonstop, 48-hour type deal once we realized this is not just a missing person, this is not just a runaway,” Ard said

According to Ard, investigators learned Rodgers had been living in the Maurepas area and that some people knew more about what happened to her than they were telling detectives. “When you question this one, you go over there, this one contradicts this one’s story,” he said.

Ard stated a witness was able to give detectives details about the final hours of the young woman’s life and led them to the location of her body, which was discovered in a wooded area off Catfish Landing Road in Maurepas.

Ard says the motive for the murder is unclear at this time, but he added investigators expect to learn a lot more about what led to her death once an autopsy is complete. The autopsy is scheduled on the morning of Thursday, February 15.

Cowart was booked into the Livingston Parish Detention Center on charges of second degree murder and obstruction of justice. His bond is set at $150,000, but probation and parole has placed a detainer on him.

Scivicque is charged with principal to second degree murder. His bond is set at $150,000.

Williford is facing charges of accessory after the fact to second degree murder and obstruction of justice. His bond is set at $200,000.

Ard says the three men appear to know each other. So far though, there is no known motive in the case. The investigation is ongoing and the sheriff’s office is interviewing more people.

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