Officials identify remains found on Mississippi beaches


Gulfport, Miss.-- Mississippi law enforcement officials identify the decapitated and dismembered remains that washed ashore Thursday evening in Bay St. Louis, as 22-year-old Jaren Lockhart.

Investigators say Lockhart left a motel on Tulane Ave. around 8:00 Tuesday night and took a cab to work at a Bourbon St. gentlemen's club.

Her boyfriend told police he became concerned when he was unable to contact her.

Now, as more body parts wash up along south Mississippi's beaches, officials now say they are 100-percent positive the torso found in Bay St. Louis Thursday, belongs to 22-year old Jaren Lockhart.

"Although we haven't done any DNA to positively connect these remains to the torso we will continue to do that and confirm that with DNA, but the circumstances are very, very strong that this is her," said Hancock County Sheriff's office lead investigator Glenn Grannan.

"Some clothes were found also in Long Beach, about a 200 yard section of the beach. Some women's under apparel and pants were found," said Chief Dep. Don Bass with the Hancock County Sheriffs office.

Investigators say those clothes were the same ones Lockhart was wearing in a surveillance video they saw of her leaving work early Wednesday morning.

"Early this morning around 6:00 a.m., a discovery was made in Pass Christian of part of a leg." said Bass.

After police got the call, officers were dispatched on four wheelers and boats to search for other body parts. About an hour and a half after part of a leg was found, a thigh was spotted along the shoreline. Then, just before 8:00 a.m., Lockhart's head was found at Picture Point in Long Beach. A fourth body part was found around 11:00 a.m. in Pass Christian.

Back in New Orleans, a motel manager tells FOX 8 Lockhart and her boyfriend lived here at the Capri Motel on Tulane Ave., for three or four months. She worked nights at a Bourbon St. Gentlemen's club.

"About 11 years ago, I worked at that club right there, Temptations, and I was supporting my son, he wasn't even a year old," said Joy Sullivan, a former dancer.

Sullivan says she understands the life Lockhart lived.

"That life is not really a life, you sleep all day, you go out all night, and sometimes you get involved with drugs, and sometimes you meet men that are aggressive," said Sullivan.

Now that the body has been identified, investigators are now searching for Lockhart's killer.

"Our primary focus up to this point had been identifying the victim about midway last night into our investigation concerning that we started to switch focus to try and determine who is responsible for this heinous act," said Grannan.

Investigators along the beach continue to look for more body parts. All remains found have been turned over to Hancock County investigators.