Connect with us

You are here

A.J. Breaux

A recovering alcoholic goes out for milk and is never seen again.


A.J. Breaux

Missing:

Gender: Male
DOB: 1/14/41
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 155 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown
Remarks: Last seen 8/28/1991


A.J.’s car was found abandoned


Who were the men in the red car?

CASE DETAILS


A note was sent to the police station

A.J. Breaux had lived in Houma, Louisiana, his entire life, raised three daughters, and worked in the same clothing store for more than three decades.   For years, A.J. had also battled a drinking problem, which led to an arrest for drunk driving.  But A.J. seemed to have conquered his demons and had been sober for eight years. 

Almost every evening, he could be found at The Easy Does It Club, a support group for people with drinking problems. According to his daughter, Melissa Tardo, A.J. prided himself on being available at any hour of the day or night to assist those in need:

Once he got involved with the program, it changed his whole life. He became even more responsible and more dependable and more trustworthy and more of a friend because he was involved with more people.”

Because of A.J.’s close ties to his community, it was all the more mystifying that he would just suddenly disappear.  On August 28, 1991, at around 8:15 p.m., A.J. was seen leaving the Easy Does It Club. A half hour later, he stopped at a convenience store to buy a quart of milk.  He told the cashier that he was on his way home, where he lived with one of his daughters.  He never arrived.


A witness positively identified A.J.

Two days later, A.J.’s car was found abandoned in a park across the street from the club. 
A.J.’s daughter, Melissa, assumed the worst:

“I immediately thought foul play because it just wouldn’t be like him to park his car where everybody could find it and everybody knows him, and disappear.”

But there was no sign of foul play. The only clues were A.J.’s wallet and checkbook, which were found tucked under the front seat of his car.

Soon, several witnesses came forward, all claiming to have seen A.J. in the days afterhe disappeared. On the same day that A.J.’s car was found, a local resident named Kenneth Pelligran says that he ran into A.J. outside of a convenience store in Houma:

“It was a strange situation for me to see him in, ‘cause he just didn’t look the same as he always did.  He was wearing a flannel shirt, something like a lumberjack style, and the pants were loose fitting, brown, very loose fitting, it wasn’t neat.  And he was wearing some old tennis shoes.  So that struck me as wrong because of all the times I’ve known him since seven years old, I’ve never seen him with his hair out of place or not dressed up neat.  A.J. was nervous.  It was like he was being watched.”

Kenneth said he also saw a red compact car parked in front of the store:

“I noticed the car and it had three guys sitting in it.  But the engine was running and he was on the phone looking towards them.  And when I came back out, A.J. was gone, the car was gone.  Had I known he had been missing, he would’ve been found then, because I knew who he was.”

Det. Troy Naquin of the Houma Police Department recounted how another witnesses saw A.J. around the same time:

“Soon after Ken Pelligran called the office, I received another call from a witness who said that he saw A.J. in a car with three other gentlemen.  It was a red small compact car on a rural route about eight miles out of town.  He waved to A.J. Breaux, but A.J. Breaux did not wave back, and that’s very uncharacteristic of A.J. not to wave back.  So he didn’t think anything of it because he didn’t know A.J. was missing.”

A.J.’s daughter, Melissa, said she believes the witnesses’ accounts:

“It makes me think that definitely somebody knows something.  If both of these gentlemen who know him from a good while back, one a lot longer than the other, have seen him, we know that they know what he looks like, and they both saw him in the same color car with three men in it. I’m pretty much convinced that somebody, somewhere knows something.”

Two weeks after those reported sightings, a chilling handwritten note came into the police station. It read: 

“A.J. Breaux.  He was drunk at the time.  Self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Stomach.  Drawstring cotton sack.  Put in by friend.  Rolled over steep grassy Bayou bank.  Near dam.” 

The note was signed, “Helene.”

According to Det. Naquin, the description matched a nearby area:

“We called the sheriff’s office water patrol units in and they dredge both sides of the dam on three different occasions, but weren’t able to find anything.”

Four weeks after A.J. disappeared, a woman named Christy Boudreaux was sitting on the front porch of her house in Lockport, Louisiana.  She says she was approached by what she assumed was a homeless man:

“I saw a van pass up and down the street, two times, I forget. Whoever was in the van was evidently lost.  Then I saw him reach over the driver’s seat into the middle of the van and he picked up a bag. I didn’t know what was in it ‘til he got to my porch and as he walked to me, he looked really nervous and he was shaking. He wanted to know if I wanted to buy some frozen fish.  And I told him no, and I smelled alcohol on his breath, and he looked homeless, kind of straggly. And as he got, I’d say 10 feet form me, he turned around and glanced at me. And that’s when it hit me that I saw that man on a missing person flyer in the post office.”

Christy identified photographs of A.J. at the police station:

“I was almost certain that that was the man that had approached me while I was on my porch.  And that’s what I told the detective, that I was 99.9% sure that that was Mr. Breaux.”

Det. Naquin thinks A.J. may have been suffering from memory loss:

“A.J. Breaux is a recovering alcoholic, and if he did start drinking again, there’s all sorts of things that could’ve happened.  He could’ve had a blackout and not remember who he is.”

A.J.’s family has refused to believe that he has turned to alcohol once again or that he disappeared by choice.  Because A.J.’s wallet and checkbook were found in his car, his daughter is convinced he was abducted:

“When I think back to the fact that his car was found in the park, I’m wondering if he may have seen something or heard something that he wasn’t supposed to see or hear.”

Det. Troy Naquin now thinks the handwritten note about A.J. shooting himself was a prank:

“A.J. Breaux at this time still listed as a missing person.  We have no evidence of foul play, but, of course, we have no evidence that he just got up and left either.  So we really don’t know what happened to A.J.”

Comments

Riss's picture

I think AJ was kidnapped by a man who he tried helping out and when that mystery man went back to drinking he sought the help of other friends who kidnapped AJ as revenge. Then they probably forced AJ back onto the bottle and AJ was so embarrassed or maybe he did lose his memory and just never returned home out of fear or loss of memory.

Mitchell's picture

Your story makes no sense.

"...and when that mystery man went back to drinking he sought the help of other friends who kidnapped AJ as revenge." Revenge for what?

Sometimes it's better to say nothing.

Regina lapeyrouse 's picture

My husband is from Houma and this story has always been in the back of my mine since I saw it on unsolved mysteries in 2008. I would like him to be found. My heart goes out to the family and I pray that one day they have the answer. I just lost my father and I understand their loss but couldn't imagine not knowing where my father was. The family is in my prayers. God bless the family and may they have answer soon.

MIKE's picture

While it's possible Mr. Breaux was kidnapped because he was troubled due to a drinking problem there's always a possibility he wasn't totally passed it.

I don't wanna pass judgement on everyone who's ever struggled with any kind of chemical dependency I've often heard many people who claim to be passed it aren't exactly passed it.

I often wonder how some people get addicted to stuff stuff? Is it just a coincidence or do they have problems already and they end up drinking a lot as a poor way of handling things?

Maybe he was just a man who couldn't handle everyday life and drinking was his escape and after his treatment, he still had issues.

Nikki's picture

A.J. was a kind, extraordinary, and all around generous man. My mother and father knew him very well for a number of years. I grew up with A.J. at the easy does it club. My dad was sober for a good bit longer than A.J. My father passed away 22 years clean. As for the speculation that A.J. went back to drinking on his own or just walked away is beyond ridiculous. Anyone who knew him knows that. He would NEVER had walked away from his daughters. They were the light of his life. He spoke of them so often we all felt like we knew them ourselves. A.J. was very responsible, and dependable. His routine never varied. So when his car was found abandoned at Jim Bowie Park right across from the club we all knew something criminal had happened. We just continue to pray that his daughters and family, as well as friends find out what happened and finally get some closure. I pray that one day well all be able to give him a proper burial if in fact he has passed on. I always cling to the hope he's still alive, but the odds of that are astronomically small. We continue to pray for our friend and confidant, as well as his family.
A.J. Breaux : Loving Father, Brother, and Extraordinary Friend ...
You are missed but NEVER forgotten...
We hold you in our hearts and memories ALWAYS ...
God Bless you ...
Nikki

MIKE's picture

Nikki while you maybe right and I don't know a whole lot on drug and alcohol addiction from what I've heard many never totally get over it.

Plus in my opinion people with these problems are not responsible.

If I'm remember in the broadcast he had a drinking problem for a long time and it took a DUI arrest to get him help.

So while it's possible that foul play was the cause of his disappearance maybe he still was never totally over it.

 Mike Aycock's picture

I knew AJ as well. I'm from Covington, LA. I spent some time in Houma as I have kin folk down. And I worked offshore for awhile. O used to frequent the Easy Does It clib as I too battle alcoholism and I have now been sober for a number of years. AJ had taken me to his home 1 night when I had no place to go. He was very kind and helpful. I dont believe he took a drinl unless someone forced it on him. As for him just up and leabing, I dont believa that either. I believe something and somebody somewhere knows something. Please step forward. Miss you AJ

peter's picture

how sad ... I just came here from reading about an unsolved murder in netherlands which shook me up.

Heather's picture

How old would he be now? I'm from Des Allemands and the pics look so familiar, but I know this guy would be up in age by now.

unsolved's picture

Hi Heather - A.J. would be around 75 now. If you have any information, please send us more information at unsolved@unsolved.com, through our tip form (http://unsolved.com/content/tips) or through our app. Thank you.

Roland 's picture

Being from Houma, this story has always fascinated me. I look in from time to time to see if there is any new information.

Lashan's picture

So sad I cannot imagine what his family has been going through prayers,

Tyler's picture

Why doesn't anyone ever talk about his rumored sexuality. I am sober and in Houma. I have been talked to by one of his old friends about how AJ dealt with the changes in his life and getting sober in a place like Houma as a gay man. It's such a sad story.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML Format

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.