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Arrest warrants issued in death case where elderly man’s body found in ice chest, daughter a suspect

Arrest warrants have been obtained in connection with Tuesday night’s discovery of an elderly man’s body inside an ice chest in an apartment near Slidell, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office announced.

Debra Fisher, 58, who is believed to be the man’s daughter, will be booked with mutilating or disinterring human remains and unlawful dispose of remains. She is undergoing medical evaluation and will be arrested upon her release.

Meanwhile, deputies booked Heidi Todd, 44, of Slidell, yesterday evening into the St. Tammany Parish jail in Covington with one count of unlawful disposal of remains.

Todd’s bond has been set at $30,000, the Sheriff’s Office said.

St. Tammany Parish Coroner Dr. Peter Galvan is scheduled to discuss the case at a news conference today at 11:30 a.m.

Ice chest similar to the one where elderly gentleman's body was found

The news conference will be held at the coroner’s forensic facility in Slidell. Check back with later for a complete story.

Authorities discovered the man’s corpse because the air conditioning system broke at the small, one-story apartment complex where he had resided with his daughter. Workers needed to get into the daughter’s apartment to complete repairs, but she and the other woman “vehemently” denied access to their place, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain said on Wednesday.

The workers called the landlord. The landlord claimed the women routinely gave him trouble about entering the apartment even if necessary and he also realized he hadn’t seen the man in a while. He phoned the sheriff.

The women told responding deputies that the man wasn’t present. Nonetheless, they entered the apartment Tuesday and looked around. The deputies said they noticed foul living conditions “beyond what human beings should (tolerate),” but nothing else seemed out of the ordinary.

The daughter, apparently shaken by the visit, walked into the Slidell Police Department’s headquarters a few hours later in the evening and admitted where her father was. The apartment lies outside the city limits, so Slidell police forwarded the case to the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies located the man’s 6-foot, 2-inch body in a 160-quart cooler. The corpse had been there so long that it was assuming a liquid state, said Capt. George Bonnett, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

The woman spoke with investigators and supposedly said her father died some time ago. She explained, though, that she left him on a bed in the residence instead of alerting officials to his passing, according to the sheriff.

As the body began decomposing, the woman cut off the hands and stowed them in a box in her freezer. She figured that would frustrate efforts to use fingerprints to identify her father if she ever disposed of the corpse, detectives suspect. She moved the rest of her father’s body to the ice chest, she indicated, the sheriff said.

Investigators are exploring the possibility that the daughter might have concealed the man’s death to continue spending his Social Security income.


Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chief
Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chief
Vice-President & Asst. Editor-in-Chief of The Heat Magazine, Arlene is a Louisiana native, Certified Paralegal, Publicist, Owner of MIKODreamz PR, co-owner of 504Diffusion, writer, producer, and jack of all trades, who is heavily involved in her community as well as serving as Media Advisor for New Orleans Union for Entertainment (NOUE), Member of the NOLA Music Awards from 2012-present & Member of the Press Club of New Orleans. Her work is published across the web. Her PR work has been highly recognized & awarded. She was/is publicist for the late great BTY YoungN, 0017th and more. She is also working on her first novel & aspires to turn it into a film & is currently writing the authorized biography of the legendary Pimp C of UGK. She can be reached via email at Follow her on Twitter - @CategorySeven & Instagram - @hurricanearlene.


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