NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - State Police investigate critical gaps in the search for a murder suspect who broke out of a state health department van in Mid City on Tuesday.
Lorenzo Conner is still on the loose and considered armed and dangerous, and there are a lot of questions about his escape.
Residents near Dante and Stroelitz streets are concerned that Conner remains on the loose,after shattering the windows of a state van and shedding his handcuffs.
"We just have to take precautions, because it could happen to anybody. It happened in this area," said Marie Miller.
A source says State Police became involved in the search Tuesday afternoon when it seemed as if local authorities needed help.
State Police say the drivers who brought Conner to New Orleans left the scene in the damaged van and had to be called back. Investigators also say no one was able to provide a picture or description of Conner until nine hours after the escape.
"From my perspective as superintendent and citizen, there were some things in place that shouldn't have been, but we'll explore that on the back end," said State Police Superintendent Col. Michael Edmonson.
Conner has a lengthy arrest record dating back to 2007, and was arrested in 2011 for the second-degree murder of 25-year-old Nelson Smith in Central City. Sources say his escorts were not armed and were driving a van with uncaged windows.
"This is something you don't want to happen, but it did," Edmonson said.
Edmonson says the search has taken them out of state, but he believes Conner is still near.
"There's nothing to tell us that he's not still in the New Orleans area," he said.
And he says troopers are chasing down several leads.
The Orleans parish sheriff's office released multiple pictures of him, all of which look a little different. If you can help investigators find him, call police or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.