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Police in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, are looking for 26-year-old Melinda Denny after her boyfriend was involved in a standoff with them on Saturday.
Melinda had been traveling from Alabama to Texas with her boyfriend, Johnathan Nall.
At about 1:30 AM on Saturday morning, Melinda’s mom called police, asking them to check on Melinda and Johnathan, who were in a gas station parking lot because they had run out of money. Officers responded and determined that the couple was ok. There was a gun in the car but there was no ammunition for it. A routine background check revealed no criminal history on either Melinda or Johnathan, and they were released to continue on their trip.
Then, just before noon on Saturday, officers in St. Tammany Parish responded to a call of a man with a gun at a gas station near Interstate 12, off exit 1077. Johnathan Nall was threatening to commit suicide. Officers engaged in a standoff with him for several hours, before taking Johnathan into custody, after firing a non-lethal bean bag at him, striking him in the chest.
Johnathan is now in protective custody at a local hospital, but Melinda seems to have disappeared. Johnathan’s vehicle, a 1999 red Jeep Grand Cherokee, was found in a subdivision near the gas station.
On January 2, 2013, Johnathan posted two pictures of Melinda on his Facebook page and wrote, “HAPPY TO FIND SOMEONE I have been looking for over 10 years now! I feel like a true King and were going to do BIG THINGS!!!!!”
Anyone who might have seen Johnathan’s vehicle early Saturday morning along the I-12 area, or who might have info about Melinda’s whereabouts, is asked to call 911.
UPDATE: 2/28/14 10:47 AM
Melinda Denny’s body has been found in an open field, not far from where Johnathan’s car was found. According to the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office, Melinda died from multiple stab wounds.
The Sheriff reportedly spoke with WWLTV and told them that he is confident that Johnathan will be arrested for Melinda’s murder. He in unsure of whether Johnathan is truly mentally ill, or if the standoff was just put on for show.
UPDATE: 4/7/14 10:43 AM
Johnathan was booked for second-degree murder on February 28, but a judge has found him incompetent to move forward with court proceedings related to his case.
At a lunacy hearing Friday at the St. Tammany Parish Courthouse in Covington, Assistant District Attorney Jack Hoffstadt agreed with reports from two doctors, Michael Blue and Michele Garriga, that Nall should be transferred from jail to a mental treatment facility.
The court will review Johnathan’s mental state in July. He has yet to be officially charged in the case.
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