Kenner police confirm lead role in probing Lockhart killing - - The News for South Mississippi

Kenner police confirm lead role in probing Jaren Lockhart murder


Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway confirmed Tuesday that his department and the Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office have taken over the investigation into the June 2012 murder of Bourbon Street dancer Jaren Lockhart. Lockhart's remains washed up in Hancock County, Mississippi.

Kenner police have had some involvement in probing the case since the outset. Almost two years ago, Kenner police investigators searched a home in the 2000 Block of Connecticut Street where at least one of the suspects in Lockhart's murder lived.

"Hancock County felt that they took it as far as they could and they didn't have the resources that we do to move the case further ahead," Caraway told news reporters during a press conference at Kenner Police Department headquarters.

Caraway said leads in the case have not dried up.

"There are things that are being developed fairly regularly and this isn't something that the information just stopped coming in back in 2012," he said. "That's not the case."

Investigators said Lockhart was last seen alive in early June 2012 with Terry Speaks and Margaret Sanchez, who remain suspects in the murders. Days after being spotted with the pair, Lockhart's remains body parts began washing up on Mississippi beaches.

Now, the sheriff's office in Hancock County believes Lockhart was killed in the Kenner home that was searched months ago.

"As time went on, we were able to come up with some additional information and I would not call it evidence, but some additional information that is pretty convincing, or pretty suggestive -  pretty suggestive, let's put it that way - that the crime took place in Kenner," said Glenn Grannan, commander of criminal investigations for the Hancock County Sheriff's Office.

"It appeared as though we would have a tough time establishing that it took place in Mississippi," he said.

And he did not dispute Caraway's statement that his department was running low on resources to continue probing the murder.

"Hancock County is a small place, you know, we struggle to pay the bills," Grannan said.

While Mississippi authorities believe Lockhart was killed in Kenner, Caraway was not ready to make that leap.

"We know that the suspects came to Kenner," he said. "Now as far as who was with them when they came to Kenner and what took place, that's what we're looking at now."

Still, Caraway said his department and the DA's office in Jefferson Parish will stay the course.

"I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we do bring it to a conclusion, obviously, absolutely nobody deserves to have their life ended this way," Caraway said.

The local FBI office issued the following statement regarding its involvement in the case:

"In follow-up to Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway's press announcement earlier today, FBI New Orleans confirms that we have been involved in the Lockhart case since its inception, working with the Kenner Police Department and law enforcement from Hancock County, Mississippi.

"Some of the processing on evidence we have received has been completed and we have shared the results with our partners. More lab examinations of evidence continues as the investigation into the crime continues."

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