Authorities investigating two unrelated deaths

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Investigators with the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department are currently investigating two unrelated deaths.

On Dec. 13, deputies received a call at 4:06 p.m. in reference to a body found under the Mill Creek bridge near the 3100 block of Jackson Landing Road, Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said.

When deputies and investigators arrived, they discovered the body of 19-year-old William Lauga of 113 Maryland St., Picayune. They observed a gunshot wound to his chest and a black rifle near the body, Tucker said.

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Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage said it’s too soon to determine the exact cause of death.

His mother, Danielle Lauga, said that Lauga was loved by many and aspiring to become a military sniper.

“He was loved by everyone and he was a special young man. He was loved by everyone who crossed his path,” Danielle said.

Lauga graduated from Picayune Memorial High School in 2014 and went on to graduate from the Fort Benning Army National Guard.

On Dec. 14, deputies received a call at 5 p.m. in reference to the body of a man found inside a Picayune home.

The deceased body was discovered in a bedroom by a family member, Tucker said.

Authorities believe the man died from a suspected drug overdose, but it’s too soon to determine the exact cause of death, Turnage said.

There currently does not appear to be evidence of foul play, Tucker said.

“It’s an open death investigation until we receive more information from the medical examiner and county coroner,” Tucker said.

The Item’s policy is to not report the identity of those who died in a private home when foul play is not suspected.

Both cases are currently under investigation and are awaiting evidence from the toxicology and autopsy reports, Tucker said.