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UPDATE: Louisiana man charged with killing of Devils Lake mother of two

Rachael Alexander

LAFAYETTE, La. -- A Louisiana man has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of a Devils Lake mother of two.

Joseph E. Dalahoussaye Jr., 43, has been charged with the second-degree murder of 29-year-old Rachael Alexander in Lafayette. He remains in custody and is expected to go to court in the Louisiana city.

Joseph DalahoussayeThe Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office responded at 12:10 p.m. Friday to a report of a suicide on the 100 block of Georgine Street in Lafayette, according to a news release. There, they discovered the body of Alexander, who had died from a gunshot wound, John Mowell, a public information officer for the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, told the Herald. He declined to say where she was shot.

Detectives investigating the case were “suspicious of the initial report of a suicide” and began investigating it as a homicide.

Detectives arrested Dalahoussaye Friday night, Mowell said. He faces life in prison without parole if convicted.

When asked if there was any connection between Alexander and Dalahoussaye, Mowell said “none that he could discuss.”

Alexander was in Louisiana visiting family, according to a family member.

Alexander moved with her mother to Devils Lake in the early 2000s to attend Devils Lake High School, said her close friend, Adrienne Budd. After graduating from the school, Alexander attended Lake Region State College before studying psychology at Capella University in Minneapolis.

Pam Smith of Devils Lake said her daughter, Jordan Perez, and Alexander have been close friends for 10 years.

“They went to school together,” Smith said. “They were pregnant together and had such a great friendship during that time. We are just really going to miss her.”

Alexander had the most infectious laugh, Smith said.

“You’d always be able to tell when she was in the room because you could just hear her laughing wherever you were,” she said. “She just had to go too soon, and it is just so sad.”

A GoFundMe page had been set up by Alexander’s friends to raise money in hopes of transporting Alexander back to Devils Lake, where her mother lives. Alexander’s friends were planning a memorial for her and hoped to lay her to rest in Devils Lake, but the GoFundMe page has been shut down per family wishes.

Family members told the Herald Alexander will be cremated in Breaux Bridge, La., though a date for that hasn't been set. They said they don't expect to transport her back to Devils Lake.

Alexander’s two daughters are being taken care of by her mother, Budd said.

“She was just such a good mom with her two daughters,” Smith said. “It’s going to be hard for her friends for a long time.”

Regarding an A1 Sunday story about Rachael Alexander, who died from a gunshot wound, her family said she will be cremated in Breaux Bridge, La., though a date for that hasn't been set. They said they don't expect to transport her back to Devils Lake, to where she moved with her mother in the early 2000s. Alexander was in Lafayette visiting family.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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