http://www.techetoday.com/content/missing-person-or-murder-mysteryMissing person or murder mystery?
Man-hours soar in search for Opelousas man in the Basin
Posted April 13th, 2010
By Ken Grissom
Sherburne WMF – It has been over two weeks since Bubba Kidder’s family last heard from him. And the best guess the authorities can make is that he has been somewhere in the woods of this remote area the whole time.
The prospects are not good.
Item 1: The car he was reportedly in was found burned near the Little Alabama Bayou near the state wildlife management area’s headquarters.
Item 2: Bubba’s family says there is no way he would just take off. He is regularly seeing a doctor for pain management, and he missed his appointment on Monday, March 29.
Item 3: Deputies and others continue to search a relatively small area, reportedly using divers and cadaver dogs. Nothing has turned up but something is keeping them there. Being good investigators, they’re not saying much until all the facts are in.
Bubba – Earl Kidder Jr., 40, of Opelousas – left on Friday, March 26, with a friend, Chad Pitre, 35, of Opelousas, on what he told his family was a fishing trip in the Atchafalaya Basin. A third man supposedly along on the trip was identified by Kidder’s family as Riki Armand, also of Opelousas.
The men apparently went to a camp owned by Pitre’s mother, Emily Courvelle Sylvester, on the Big Alabama Bayou just south of the state complex with its boat ramp, shooting ranges and campgrounds. Neighbors on the bayou reported seeing Pitre’s little gold-colored Mitsubishi compact car going back and forth over the weekend, but with only two people in
On Sunday, March 28, Bubba reportedly called his mother, Agnes F. Kidder, to say the fishing was good. But he didn’t come back on Monday. And, as noted, he missed his doctor’s appointment.
On Wednesday, March 31, the family filed a missing persons report in St. Landry Parish. Since the camp is located in Pointe Coupee Parish, responsibility shifted to that parish’s sheriff’s office. The Kidder family is not happy with the results.
“They lied to us,” said Melissa Brown of Scott, Bubba’s sister.
“They said they were out searching. We had people on four-wheelers over the Easter weekend and there wasn’t a soul out there but us.”
She said the official search didn’t start in earnest until the St. Martin Sheriff’s Office got involved.
The scene of the crime, if that’s what it is, lies just inside the St. Martin Parish line, on a little-used road, blocked from public use, paralleling Little Alabama Bayou. A state game warden, Channing Duval, came across the burned-out hulk of the Mitsubishi out in the woods near the bayou, providing a focus for the search. Whatever other physical evidence might have been recovered at the scene is not being revealed at this time.
Pitre and Armand have reportedly been interviewed multiple times by investigators. The story that emerges is that Bubba Kidder took Chad Pitre’s car during the night Sunday and disappeared.
While not talking publicly, one investigator has said privately that the Mitsubishi was so thoroughly burned, arson is suspected.
The Sherburne Wildlife Management Area, the Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge and adjoining Corps of Engineers lands combine to form 44,000 acres of bottomland hardwoods and meandering bayous.