Hancock Co. investigators speak about Jaren Lockhart case

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - There is a new development in a murder case law enforcement officials have been investigating for almost two years. One of the primary suspects in the dismemberment case of a Bourbon Street dancer was arrested Wednesday morning.

Margaret Sanchez is charged with the murder of Jaren Lockhart. You probably recall Lockhart's body parts washing up on the beach in Hancock County in June of 2012.

The case ignited an intense investigation for Hancock County Sheriff's investigators. They talked to WLOX News about the case.

Officials in Hancock County say the arrest of Sanchez marks the beginning of closure for Lockhart's family and for investigators in Hancock County. They started the work that lead to Sanchez's arrest.

"Thousands of hours and thousands and thousands of dollars, but it became a passion to the guys," said Sheriff Ricky Adam.

Investigators say it remains the strangest case the department has ever investigated. In the early days of the investigation, the entire unit worked around the clock on the case which took them from New Orleans to New York.

"We can talk about the dollars and cents, but when it gets down to it, it was the human element, the work ethic of the guys that got it done," Adam said.

Chief Investigator Glenn Grannan led the investigative team that solved the case.

"The Sheriff and the Chief kept us motivated to keep going after it, and going after it," said Grannan.

Investigators say they used every tool and resource available to them to piece together exactly what happened and how Lockhart's body parts ended up washing ashore in Hancock and Harrison Counties.

One of those resources that helped track where the body parts were dumped in the water came from USM's Marine Science Department at Stennis Space Center.

"There wasn't anyone who wasn't involved," explained Grannan.

Grannan said his team recently determined Lockhart's murder was actually committed in Kenner, LA, so the information gathered in Hancock County was turned over to authorities there.

"It's very satisfying we're going to get justice," Grannan said.

The other suspect in the case is Sanchez's boyfriend. Terry Speaks is currently in prison in New York for failing to register as a sex offender. He is scheduled to be released in October, but so far has not been charged in connection to Lockhart's murder.

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