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December 04, 2006
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Man arrested in decade old La. serial-killer probe

HOUMA, La.- A man accused of slaying two men nearly a decade ago was arrested Friday in the investigation of the possible serial killings of at least 22 people, authorities said.

Forensic evidence led authorities to Ronald J. Dominique, 42, who was arrested at a homeless shelter here, state Attorney General Charles Foti's office said, refusing to release other details.

There will be "more information to come in the very near future," Les Bonano, an investigator with the attorney general's office, said at a news conference.

Dominique was booked on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated rape in the May 1999 strangling death of Manuel Reed, 20, and with second-degree murder in the October 1998 death of Oliver Lebanks, 27.

It was not clear Friday night whether Dominique had a lawyer. Houma police referred inquiries to the attorney general's office, which did not immediately return a call after business hours.

Both men were killed in Jefferson Parish, in suburban New Orleans about 45 miles east of Houma, according to the attorney general's office. Lebanks died of asphyxiation, said Kris Wartelle, a spokeswoman for Foti.

Kenner police said last year that they believed Reed's death was linked to the killings of two other males in the area, Joseph Brown, 16, and Angel Mejia, 21.

On Friday, authorities would not say whether Dominique was connected to other slayings in the area but said more charges were possible. A task force has been investigating the deaths of 22 men who were killed in similar ways dating to the late 1990s.

Many of the men were poor; some were willing to prostitute themselves for drugs. They had been strangled without the bruises or broken bones that would indicate a struggle.

"Due to the fact that the investigation is ongoing and there is a possibility of more charges, no further information is available at this time," according to a statement from the attorney general's office.






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