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Police: Papers seized from Klan leader accused of murder

  • Story Highlights
  • Authorities: Applications, titles, chain of command for group members seized
  • Chuck Foster, 44, charged with second-degree murder in death of Cynthia Lynch
  • St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office says Foster shot Lynch during KKK initiation
  • Others involved in initiation are accused of trying to conceal the killing
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(CNN) -- Authorities say they confiscated documents related to the Ku Klux Klan from the Louisiana home of a man accused of killing a woman who tried to join the group.

Chuck Foster is charged with second-degree murder in the woman's death.

The documents were seized from the home of Chuck Foster, who authorities say is the leader of a local KKK group. Among the seized items were applications, titles and a chain of command for group members, said Fred Oswold, chief of criminal investigations for the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office.

"So far, we have learned that they were a small group, but they were fairly organized," Oswold said, adding that his agency is working with the FBI to learn more about the group.

Cynthia Lynch, 43, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was fatally shot Sunday during an initiation ceremony in the woods of Louisiana, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office said.

Authorities say the suspects recruited Lynch over the Internet to join the Klan. They say she traveled from Oklahoma to Louisiana for the ceremony and was taken to a campsite near Sun, Louisiana, about 60 miles north of New Orleans.

On Sunday, the woman asked to be taken from the camp to a nearby town, and an argument ensued, culminating with Foster fatally shooting Lynch, the sheriff's department said.

Some of the suspects then tried to conceal the killing by burning the woman's personal items, authorities said. Police received a tip about the killing and found the woman's body hidden under loose brush alongside a road, authorities said.

The suspects, most of whom were still in the woods near the campsite several miles from where the body was found, were taken into custody without incident, he said.

Foster, 44, was charged with second-degree murder. The others were charged with lesser crimes related to trying to conceal the killing.

Oswold said that the Klan group in Sun was very small and that most of the members were arrested.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there were seven active Klan organizations in Louisiana in 2007, the last time the civil rights law firm tracked hate groups.

None of those organizations was in the Sun area.

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