KENNER, LA (WLOX) - Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway said additional witnesses located in the last two weeks by his investigators led to Wednesday's arrest of Margaret Sanchez.
The chief spoke Thursday about the Jaren Lockhart murder case his department just took over from Hancock County authorities.
"We do have evidence to show them coming to Kenner after leaving New Orleans," Chief Caraway said. "We believe she was killed here."
He said license plate recognition cameras picked the suspects up as they came into Kenner from New Orleans, where they met the victim. The cameras also later picked them up going to Mississippi for a brief time. Investigators believe they dumped Lockhart's body in Mississippi.
That act of crossing state, county and parish lines has made the investigation much more complicated. Chief Caraway said that's one reason the investigation has dragged on for almost two years without an arrest.
Wednesday morning, U.S. marshals arrested Margaret Sanchez at her parents' home in Metairie, LA. She's charged with second degree murder in the death of Jaren Lockhart. She's also charged with obstruction of justice, related to the dismemberment of the body.
Terry Speaks, Sanchez's boyfriend at the time of the murder, is still a suspect in the murder, but has not been charged. Investigators from Kenner have been to interview Speaks in New York, where he is currently incarcerated. The chief also wouldn't rule out the possibility of additional suspects.
Chief Caraway said the investigation is ongoing, and there's still much more work to do. He spoke highly of the investigators he has working on the case.
"In just two weeks, they were able to do something that hasn't been done in a year or two," Caraway said of his team.
He said DNA evidence is still being processed by the FBI, and new evidence will be sent to them.
The chief said the public should not expect this case to go to trial in the next few months, noting there are "complex issues with this case."