Two killed, one clinging to life in Gonzales home invasion; reward offered for information

Charlotte Guedry
Douglas Dooley

It’s been a sad and difficult time for our community, as residents come to terms with hearing of the brutal attacks on three residents which have left two dead and one fighting for her life.

On Saturday at approximately 10 p.m, Ascension Parish Sheriff officers were called to make a welfare check on a Babin Road home.

The wife of Douglas Dooley  had been unable to reach her husband, so Sheriff’s deputies were called to see if they could raise anyone at the residence.

Upon arriving, officers saw no signs of forced entry and did a sweep of the property. It was at this time, they noticed through a window, the bodies of three people lying on a bloody floor.

Officers entered the home where they found both 74 year old Robert Irwin Marchand and his stepson, 50 year old Douglas Dooley dead, and 72 year old Shirley Marchand fighting for her life. All three had been attacked with some type of blunt object, and had also had their throats slit.

Mrs. Marchand was immediately taken to a local hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery. Since her surgery, she has not regained consciousness, and is listed as being in critical condition.

Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley, upon hearing the news, stated, “It’s a tragic day for Ascension Parish”.  The victims are well known and well respected citizens who were viciously attacked in their own home.  This department is working non-stop to identify and capture the killers.”

At first, residents in the area worried that the attack could be a random incident, however closer inspection of the property revealed that a safe had been taken from the home. The safe is said to have been the storage space for a nearly $500,000 coin collection.

Upon releasing this information, Sheriff Wiley made a statement thanking the residents of the community as he stated that “the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office has received multiple citizen contacts regarding the double homicide. These calls were largely generated due to the gold and rare coins that were stolen. As to the case itself, we are currently following up on several leads and continue to interview any and all individuals who had remote contact with the victims. As a gesture of reassurance to our citizens and to  increase officer presence and response time, extra and targeted patrols have been initiated and will continue for the foreseeable future.”

Late Monday afternoon, a safe was found open, abandoned, and empty at a park in Livingston.

The safe was reported to Livingston Parish authorities after a citizen saw the safe off of Hwy, 63 near the Frost/Livingston exit of Interstate 12. Authorities immediately contacted the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the safe was transported to Ascension in the hopes of getting confirmation that it was, indeed, the Marchand’s safe. It is believed, at this time, that the safe is the one taken from the Marchand home.

The horrific attack, which the Sheriff’s Office believes took place sometime between midnight and 10 a.m. on Saturday, has left not only a parish reeling, but has placed all members of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office in the midst of the investigation. They are working non-stop to find answers to the many puzzling questions this attack has raised.

Sheriff Wiley has asked that pawn shops and gold merchants pay extra attention to what is being brought into their businesses, as the possibility of someone attempting to fence the stolen coins is likely.

Crime Stoppers has also offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the person(s) responsible for the deadly home invasion.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office at 225-621-INFO(4636) or Crime Stoppers at 225-344-STOP (7867).

Information is crucial at this time, so anything you believe may assist with the investigation should be passed on to the proper authorities.

74 year old Robert Irwin Marchand and 72 year old Shirley Marchand.