HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Hancock County investigators are hoping to charge two suspects in the death of Jaren Lockhart.
The New Orleans woman was last seen alive on surveillance video June 6, 2012 leaving a New Orleans bar with Margaret Sanchez and Terry Speaks. Two days later, a piece of her body washed ashore in Hancock County. Investigators are still trying to prove what happened during the time in between.
"We are still putting many hours a week into the investigation of Jaren Lockhart," Hancock County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Don Bass said. "We feel at this time we have the evidence we need, circumstantial and physical evidence, that gives us an opportunity to pursue charges against this couple."
Bass said investigators have asked someone from the district attorney's office to meet with them on Monday to discuss pursuing charges of desecration of a human corpse against Sanchez and Speaks.
"We feel that the information we have will lead to this couple in Hancock County disposing of the body," Bass said.
But investigators do not plan to close the case after these charges.
"We feel we have enough to pursue this part," Bass said. "Will it lead further into the investigation of possible homicide charges against these two people? We sure hope so. And that's our intention as evidence continues to come in from the FBI crime lab. With their analysis, we are certain we will have what we need."
Until then, this charge could put Sanchez behind bars and have Speaks extradited to Mississippi.
"This will allow us to apprehend them and, of course, interview them possibly further and see what else we can get. Plus, we feel the public will come forward with more information feeling a little bit more secure," Bass said.
The district attorney must decide if they will pursue charges on the suspects and if they decide to, it will be brought before a grand jury who will have to indict them.
If you have any information about this case you are asked to call the Hancock County Sheriff's Department at (228) 466-6900.