NOPD: Teens' deaths on interstate do not appear to be connected

NOPD: Teens' deaths on interstate do not appear to be connected

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - New Orleans police are still searching for clues in the death of a 16-year-old girl who was killed on Interstate 10 in eastern New Orleans.

Kaylan Ward's body was found on the roadway last week. The preliminary cause of death is blunt force trauma, according to the coroner. Investigators believe she was attempting to cross the interstate.

Information about what caused her death has been scarce, despite an investigation involving NOPD detectives, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana State Police and the FBI.

"I don't know that it is odd, but we need more information," NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison said.

Harrison also wanted to let the public know that investigators do not believe that Ward's death is connected to 19-year-old Jasilas Wright. Wright's body was recovered Wednesday along I-10 westbound near Veterans Boulevard.

"The public sentiment is that they could be related, and we want to bring calmness to the public," Harrison said.

He did say the NOPD is working with the JPSO on both cases to ensure a thorough investigation.

Members of the NOPD's traffic unit were lead investigators in Ward's mysterious death, but now homicide has taken over the case. The two units are working together to find leads.

"We will look behind every rock, we will do everything that must be done," Harrison said.

The superintendent said he could not be specific or elaborate about what evidence has been collected so far.

If you have any information on either incident, call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.

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