WDSU, December 2, 2022
The Covington Police Department has released a timeline leading up to the chilling murders of a beloved priest and church member.
The St. Tammany coroner identified the two victims found brutally murdered and burned earlier this week as the Rev. Otis Young and church member Ruth Prats.
Antonio Tyson was arrested on Monday and booked with first-degree murder, second-degree kidnapping, obstruction of justice, resisting an officer, and illegally possessing stolen items.
Police released a timeline of events leading up to the discovery of Young and Prats’ bodies.
On Nov. 27, Covington police responded to a report of a hit and run near St. Tammany Bike Trace and Bogue Falaya Towers Condominiums.
Officers were given Ruth Prats’ license plate from a witness on the scene. When officers tried to contact Prats, they couldn’t find her. Police then contacted her family who said they also couldn’t get in touch with her.
Covington police reviewed footage of the hit-and-run that showed Prats car involved. Her phone was pinged inside a dumpster nearby and a criminal investigation was then launched.
Prats was also entered as a missing person and reported her car as stolen.
On Monday, officers found Prats’ car in a Walgreens parking lot. According to police, Tyson and another white female, who was not Prats, were taken into custody.
After police found Prats’ car, they learned that Young was with Prats on Sunday. When officers went to Young’s apartment, they found he was not there.
Two bodies were then found in the 600 block of East Gibson Street Monday around 5:49 a.m.
The bodies were found burned behind the building.
Video obtained by police showed Tyson riding a bicycle past Prats’ home around 3:53 p.m. on Sunday.
Tyson is seen on video speaking to both Prats and Young for a few minutes.
Around 3:55 p.m., police say Tyson leaves and parks his bike on the side of a grocery store.
At 4 p.m. police say Tyson was seen walking up to Prats’ front door with what appeared to be a knife behind his back in a crouched position.
Police say Tyson was then seen entering Prat’s home.
Prats’ car is seen around 5:14 p.m. backing out of the driveway of the home and out of the camera’s view.
Prats’ car is then seen driving away from the home.
Tyson was arrested Monday and faces two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree kidnapping, two counts of obstruction of justice, one count of illegal possession of stolen things, and one count of resisting an officer by giving a false name.
Tyson has a violent criminal history.
Tyson was recently released from Rayburn Correctional Facility prison after pleading guilty in 1993 to one count of forcible rape, one count of armed robbery, and one count of burglary.
He was sentenced to 40 years and served 31 years, according to Covington police.
Police reports from the St. Tammany District Attorney’s office shed light on the violent rape that Tyson was convicted of. Police said he was 18 at the time of the crime.
According to the court documents, the victim, a 54-year-old, said she woke up to two men in her bedroom. She said she was pistol whipped, tied up, and a pillow case was placed over her head and then raped by both men.