Search for missing La. couple turns up empty - - The News for South Mississippi

Search for missing La. couple turns up empty

Kenneth and Lakeitha Joseph Kenneth and Lakeitha Joseph
St. John deputies wrap up search for couple off I-55 St. John deputies wrap up search for couple off I-55

Authorities have taken to the swamps in the search for a missing Louisiana couple after receiving an anonymous tip. Friday's search turned up empty.

Deputies with the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office are searching swamps along I-55 between LaPlace and Manchac for a missing couple from Reserve.

Investigators said they received a tip about the possible whereabouts of Kenneth Joseph, 34, and his wife, Lakeitha, 29. After getting the anonymous tip, Sheriff Mike Tregre sent 27 officers on what has become the largest search done by his department.

"We pulled out all of the stops, boats, port of Louisiana, border patrol helicopter to do an aerial search," said Lt. Chip Wale.

The couple was reported missing on Feb. 19 and were last heard from the previous day.

Relatives of Kenneth and LaKeitha Joseph stood near Interstate 55 in Ruddock, Louisiana waiting as search and rescue crews canvassed a 14 mile stretch of land and water searching for clues that may lead them to the missing couple.

Friday's search turned up empty. Lakeitha's mother, Terry Hart, is still looking. She says she hasn't stopped since she learned the couple's house was ransacked on February 19th.

Authorities in Georgia announced last weekend the van driven by the couple was found in good condition at an apartment complex just outside of Atlanta.

Authorities with the St. John's Sheriff's office have not released much information as far as any communications they've had with law enforcement in Georgia. That has left relatives even more frustrated.

"We might go out there and walk and search ourselves, pass out fliers you know. Somebody might have seen something that they might have missed."

Hart says as far as she knows Kenneth and LaKeitha do not know anyone who lives in Georgia. Family members say they can't comprehend why anyone would want to hurt them.

The couple's home was unlocked when investigators arrived on Feb. 19. Family members say the house was ransacked and it is not in the couple's character to leave without telling anyone.

The search over the Pearl River Wildlife Management area south of Highway 90 will take place one day next week when weather permits.

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