Eight people have been arrested after authorities found the woman’s body hidden under some brush, on the side of a road several miles from the remote campsite where the initiation was planned.
In a news release, St. Tammany Sheriff Jack Strain said that investigators found weapons, several flags and six Klan robes at the campsite.
The woman, whose identity was not released, was recruited over the Internet to participate in the ritual and then return to her home state to recruit other members for the white supremacist group.
However, Strain said the group’s leader, Raymond “Chuck” Foster, 44, shot and killed the woman Sunday after a fight broke out when she tried to leave. Foster was charged with second-degree murder and is being held without bond.
Authorities say they didn’t know what was involved in the initiation ritual.
It is unknown at this time whether Foster has an attorney.
One Sheriff’s Department official stated that in three years with the department this was the first time he had seen a case involving the Ku Klux Klan.
Seven others were charged with obstruction of justice and were held on $500,000 bond at the St. Tammany Parish jail. All eight of the suspects live in Washington Parish, but their hometowns weren’t immediately available.
Authorities said some of the suspects tried to conceal the crime by burning the woman’s belongings along with other items at the campsite.
Strain said the woman arrived in the Slidell area last week and was met by two people connected to the Klan group. She was taken over the weekend to the campsite near Sun on the banks of the Pearl River about 60 miles north of New Orleans.