Prosecutor Chester Cedars told the 16th Judicial Court he intends to seek the death penalty in the case.
The victim, who was reported missing Feb. 27, was found by St. Martin sheriff’s deputies in the Harbor Estates Canal off La. 70 in Stephensville.
The location is about 15 minutes from the victim’s home in St. Mary Parish, according to SMSO spokesperson Maj. Ginny Higgins.
Joseph, of Houma, was already in jail in St. Mary Parish on earlier charges of domestic violence against his wife.
Patterson police said Joseph allegedly beat Delores Joseph and threw her out of a moving vehicle in one case, and in the other, he allegedly held Delores Joseph at gunpoint.
Delores Joseph leaves three children.
Details of how the woman died have not yet been made available.
According to Cedars, the killing qualifies as a first-degree murder, punishable by death, because it occurred in conjunction with the commission of another felony, in the case a kidnapping.