One summer morning in 2014, a heart-wrenching scene awaited the parents of Megan Parra. When they arrived at the living room of their daughter, she was lying in the pool of her own blood. With so much to live for, the untimely death of the 29-year-old woman not only shocked her family but also the entire town. This tragic case is covered in the episode of ’48 Hours,’ titled ‘The Suspicious Death of Megan Parra,’ where we also get the details of the lengthy investigation that followed and discover the identity of the perpetrator/s behind the murder.
How Did Megan Parra Die?
Born to Missy and Steve Ducote on November 7, 1984, in Alexandria, Louisiana, Megan Claire Ducote was a warm-hearted person who brought a positive and vibrant energy to any room she entered. While growing up in a close-knit family, she was loved and adored by her parents as well as her sister, Betsy Jeansonne. Already leading a content life, Megan welcomed more happiness in her world when she met Dustin Michael Parra. It didn’t take long for the two to take a liking to each other and eventually enter into a relationship; one thing led to another, and the duo decided to take their bond to the next level by tying the knot.
The town of Cottonport is where Megan grew up, and it is where the newly married couple decided to settle. During the course of their marriage, they gave birth to two adorable children — Austin Steven Parra and Breckin Michael Parra. She took motherhood seriously and was described as a loving mother, whose world revolved around her family. However, on June 28, 2014, Megan’s picture-perfect world turned out to be not so perfect after all, as she was found with a gunshot wound to her head, covered in her own blood, in the living room of her house in Cottonport.
Since Megan was still breathing, her mother, Missy Ducote, put her nursing experience to good use and tried to save her daughter’s life. When the authorities arrived at the crime scene, they found the gun right beside her, and there was no sign of forced entry. Considering these facts, her death was ruled a suicide by the police. She was taken to the Lafayette General Medical Center immediately, but the doctors couldn’t save her as the gunshot wound proved to be way too critical. The 29-year-old mother of two met her demise officially on the following day, i.e., June 29, 2014.
Who Killed Megan Parra?
Although deemed as suicide by the police, Megan Parra’s parents and sister, especially her father, were convinced that there was foul play involved. So, they spearheaded the quest for answers and took the investigation in their own hands. Steve began the investigation by asking for copies of the photographs of the crime scene that the officer captured, which eventually turned out to be crucial in apprehending the perpetrator.
Betsy played her part by spending hours on the internet, learning all that she could about blood spatter patterns, as the blood around Megan did not seem right to her. Apart from that, the photographs also revealed that a struggle might have ensued in the room, hinted by a guitar lying on the floor and a wine rack found behind a chair. In the subsequent years, Megan’s family relentlessly looked for more clues that could lead them to the culprit responsible for the murder of the beloved 29-year-old.
Steve and the rest of the family members got to know about the interview that the police had with Dustin Parra, who described his marriage with Megan as typical. He even admitted to having an affair, not long before Megan was murdered. As per Dustin’s claims, she was not aware of his extramarital liaison. However, the cold case turned on its head in 2021, when the evidence was reexamined. The photo of the shorts that Dustin Parra, Megan’s husband, was wearing the day of the murder had blood spatter patterns that told the investigators he was present when the gun was fired into the victim’s head. This crucial shift in the case turned Dustin from a grieving husband to the accused.
In October 2021, then-37-year-old Dustin Parra was indicted for the second-degree murder of his wife, Megan Ducote Parra, and for tampering with evidence that obstructed justice. Then, in March 2023, he entered a nolo contendere (no contest) plea to one count of negligent homicide, because of which he agreed to admit certain facts about the case — his marriage was struggling, he was arguing with Megan on the morning of the murder, he was holding a pistol which went off and hit her during the struggle between the two, following which, he left the house immediately and returned when Steve called him up.
Once Dustin Parra entered the plea and admitted the above-mentioned facts, he was sentenced to five years in prison. Having said that, it was also highlighted that if he were to get released earlier, he would serve the remaining time on parole. Megan and Dustin’s children had been staying with the latter ever since the murder, which changed in April 2023, when Steve and Missy Ducote were given full custody of their grandchildren.