Family and friends gather for balloon release to remember Jaren Lockhart

Jaren Lockhart
Jaren Lockhart

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - WLOX News has been following the investigation into the murder of Jaren Lockhart for over two years, and Saturday afternoon family and friends of Lockhart gathered on the beach in Bay St. Louis to remember the woman who was taken so young.

Andrea Swain traveled from Louisiana to take a moment to remember her sister.

"She was beautiful, outgoing. She lit up the room as she came in. She was just a one of a kind person. You know?" Swain said.

Lockhart was a 22-year-old from Louisiana that was murdered and dismembered back in 2012. Parts of her body washed up on the beach in Hancock County, which led to an investigation of how and why she went missing.

That investigation has since been handed over to the police department in Kenner, Louisiana. Swain says this balloon release, in honor of her sister, serves a purpose to encourage others to remember her sister's story.

"We just don't want her story to die. We still want her story to live on," Swain said.

Family and friends stood close by with their love and support.

"As much as the beach meant to Jaren, that that was her last place to be, it's kind of hurtful in a way and to know that she was here as her last place. It's definitely kind of hurtful, but it brings peace to kind of know that she's getting justice. She's a great person, that's for sure," said Swain.

Since the investigation has been handed over to the Kenner police department, Margaret Sanchez has been arrested for second degree murder and obstruction of justice.

The other prime suspect in the case, Terry Speaks, has yet to be charged with Lockhart's murder. However, investigators say more charges should be coming. Speaks is currently serving time in a New York prison for unrelated charges.

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