Authorities release name, details of man found dead in Groves parking lot

Published 3:17 pm Friday, October 20, 2023

GROVES — Justice of the Peace Brad Burnett has released the name of a man who was found Thursday morning dead in the back seat of his truck in Groves.

The man has been identified as Ronnie Jearld Hayden, 42, of Livingston.

Burnett said he spoke with the property manager of the shopping center, which is in the 5000 block of Twin City Highway and was told the man’s truck is believed to have been in the parking lot for three weeks.

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The property manager reportedly told Burnett out-of-town workers often stop in the parking lot to sleep before receiving their per diem for travel and lodging, though staying on the property such as this is not allowed.

The man’s wife has been notified of the death, and an autopsy has been ordered.

Burnett said the autopsy would give a clearer picture of the date of the man’s death as well as a cause of death.

Groves Police Sergeant Chris Robin said authorities were called to the scene at approximately 10 a.m. Thursday, adding a property manager was the one who found the man deceased.

The parking lot has a number of businesses, including Big Lots, Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen, Planet Fitness, Family Dollar and more.

Robin said it is not unusual for people to park their vehicles in the parking lot, saying sometimes there are 18 wheelers or workers who park there and carpool to a job site.

“At this point there is no suspicion of foul play,” Robin said Thursday.

The man had been dead for an unknown amount of time and was in stages of decomposition.