Mocobizscene-Eddie Rodrigue failed to return home on December 14. Detectives in the Seventh District were informed by his family. The 27-year-old was last seen wearing black slippers and a hoodie, according to their missing persons report.
An ankle monitor worn by Rodrigue was not mentioned in the report.
The gadget, which records his movements through satellites and cell towers, was installed on him while he was awaiting trial for charges including possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute, possessing stolen goods valued at at least $25,000, assaulting a police officer, and resisting arrest.
According to Matt Dennis, founder and director of enforcement for ASAP Release, a company that manages a monitoring program, the ankle monitor was turned off at approximately nine in the morning on December 14.
According to him, Dennis assumed Rodrigue was an escapee and started looking into his absence. Along with the sliced ankle monitor, a bloodied smartphone and a subpoena with his name were discovered as part of the trail of clues.
Dennis stated that around 4 p.m. that day, he had good grounds to think Eddie was a victim of violence whose device had been taken out by the culprit rather than an escapee.
“We found a car in less than 48 hours. Dennis stated, “There was enough blood in the car to conclude that the person who was shot did not survive.” “We had to wait another two weeks to find that body.”
While responding to an unrelated call in Little Woods on New Year’s Day, police reported smelling “a foul odor”. Under a mattress in the 7200 block of Burke Road, they discovered Rodrigue’s body. As of last week, the case was still unresolved.
Dennis said that even while his investigation was not quite successful in solving the murder, it was an illustration of the possible advantages of “proximity reporting,” which involves monitoring the whereabouts of crime scenes and the movements of any of the 400 or so participants in ankle monitoring programs. Dennis claims he needs more access to NOPD crime data in order to accomplish that.
Regarding Dennis’s plea, neither the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office nor the NOPD made any remarks. Oliver Thomas, a member of the New Orleans City Council, countered that it’s something to think about.
“It would be neglectful on our part if we don’t take a look at walking down that road,” added Thomas. “As chair of the criminal justice committee, I’m looking for the best possible way for professionals within the city to link up so we can come up with the best result.”
Some courts prefer ankle monitor programs such as Dennis’ in order to release criminal defendants on bond instead of putting them in jail. At the moment, the jail in Orleans Parish is just below the 1,250-inmate limit.
Dennis claims that he and his ten-person team have gone above and beyond, using NOPD data to produce dozens of leads on some of the 1,460 violent cold-case gun crimes that occurred in New Orleans during the first seven months of last year. He makes the case that his company could accomplish more with up-to-date crime data.
Dennis mentioned that the technology can notify victims of domestic abuse through an app whenever the alleged abuser approaches.
“NOPD is unable to accomplish that. They’re not in the mood for that,” he remarked. It’s a collaborative effort. We must play for the same team. We’re all engaged in the same activity.”
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