St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Recovers Body Believed to be Missing Man Involved in Chalmette Ferry Landing Incident 

Roland Messa.

The body of an adult male believed to be 54-year-old Roland Emile Messa who was involved in a recent incident at the Chalmette Ferry landing has been recovered from the Mississippi River, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.

Shortly before noon (Friday, March 29, 2024), the Sheriff said, deputies responded to a call for service in reference to a body being seen in the Mississippi River near the end of Saro Lane in the St. Bernard community. 

The Sheriff’s Office recovered the body which was then transported to the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office pending autopsy.

Messa, of the 5800 block of Citrus Boulevard in Harahan, is believed to have been driving the vehicle that drove off the Chalmette Ferry landing and into the Mississippi River on March 16, 2024, shortly before 2:30 a.m.

During the course of the investigation, detectives with the Criminal Investigations Bureau learned through eyewitness accounts that a white pickup truck was observed sinking in the River, and an adult male was seen swimming away from it, but he disappeared under the water and never resurfaced.

Detectives determined through video surveillance that the truck was driven by Messa. 

Sheriff Pohlmann said detectives searched the area near the Chalmette Ferry for several days following the incident at length for Messa, along with assistance from the Coast Guard and Harbor Police, to no avail.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 271-2501, the Criminal Investigations Bureau’s tip hotline at (504) 271-TIPS or 8477, or Crimestoppers GNO at (504) 822-1111. Callers to the CIB tip hotline or Crimestoppers can remain anonymous and could be eligible for a cash award from Crimestoppers.