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Multiple agencies offering award for information leading to alleged killers arrest

By Bonnie Culverhouse

A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of Cedric Barnard Stephens.

“The Webster Sheriff’s Office along with the Minden Police Department, Minden City Marshal’s office and U.S. Marshal’s Task Force are all working closely together still pursuing Cedric,” said Minden Police Chief Jared McIver. “There is now a reward offered for anyone that would come forward with information leading to Cedric’s arrest. Anyone with information can contact the Webster Sheriff’s department or Minden Police Department.”

Newly-released photos of Stephens may help police with identification by the public. These photos were provided to Webster Parish Journal and published with McIver’s permission in hopes someone may recognize 37-year-old Cedric Barnard Stephens and contact authorities.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, Stephens was still art large, however, law enforcement is following leads.

“We have too many agencies working on it not to catch him,” said McIver. “But we are not 100 percent sure he is still in the area.”

Stephens is suspected of shooting Daniel Merritt and hiding his body in the woods near Auction Barn Road in Minden.

The chief requested anyone with information or leads should contact Minden Police Department (318-371-4226), Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office (318-377-1515) or 911. They can remain anonymous.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.