New evidence emerges in Jaren Lockhart murder case
By Meg Gatto| April 22, 2014 at 2:17 AM CDT - Updated July 21 at 11:10 AM
KENNER, LA (WVUE)
The investigation into the gruesome murder of a Bourbon Street dancer is now in the hands of Kenner Police. Investigators in Mississippi believe Jaren Lockhart may have been murdered in Kenner before her dismembered remains washed up on a Hancock County beach.
The last two people Lockhart was seen with lived in Kenner. Margaret Sanchez and Terry Speaks were named suspects in her murder, but never charged.
Lockhart, the mother of a little girl, disappeared in June 2012. Days later, her torso and other remains washed ashore in Hancock County, Miss. The sheriff's office there handled the investigation from the beginning and worked with the FBI on forensic testing of evidence. Investigators also worked with Kenner Police, who initially searched the home where Speaks and Sanchez lived. But just this month, Hancock County handed over the case to Kenner.
Days after Lockhart's body was found, the sheriff's office had some good leads after surveillance footage from the club where Lockhart worked showed her leaving with Sanchez and Speaks. Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam said at the time, "We know they left the place of business with her. We'll let the evidence tell us if they were involved in her murder, but we know they were together."
Both were later arrested on separate charges. Speaks was a sex offender who failed to register. Sanchez was picked up for harboring Speaks. The charge against her was later dropped.
FOX 8 spoke to Jaren Lockhart's family back in 2012. They described their pain and prayed for it to come to an end.
"I want some peace for my grandbaby, and I want some justice for my grandbaby, said Lockhart's mother, Donna Lockhart.
Authorities say they don't know if Sanchez is still in the Kenner area. Speaks is in federal prison for failing to register as a sex offender.