KENNER, LA (WVUE) - Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway says his department will take the lead in investigating the murder and dismemberment of 22-year-old Jaren Lockhart.
The Bourbon Street dancer was last seen alive on June 5, 2012.
Caraway said Hancock County investigators have taken the investigation as far as they can given their resources, and now Kenner is taking over.
Hancock County authorities also believe Lockhart may have been killed in Kenner even though her remains washed up on a Mississippi beach.
Lockhart was last seen alive by her boyfriend in early June 2012. Several days later her torso and other remains washed ashore in Mississippi.
Shortly thereafter, Kenner Police searched a Kenner home where one of two suspects was staying. Investigators also searched a house where Mississippi authorities now think the murder may have occurred.
Caraway says police have confirmed that suspects Terry Speaks and Margaret Sanchez came to Kenner on the night in question, but cannot say for sure if Lockhart was with them.
Neither of the suspects has been arrested in connection with this case. Now Kenner Police and the Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office are assuming control of the investigation.
"There are things that are being developed fairly regularly over the last year and a half. This is something based on a mutual decision of our DA's office and the Kenner Police Department. We'll take a look at the big picture and go from there," Caraway said.
Caraway says some forensic evidence Hancock County had is still being analyzed and that the FBI is in possession of some evidence and they will examine everything relating to the murder.
Caraway calls it a complex case because of the myriad law enforcement jurisdictions involved, but he says Jefferson Parish has some of the best investigators around and they are determined to solve this horrific murder.
Late Tuesday, the FBI released the following statement: