UPDATE: Authorities to reopen Mary Ann Farve murder case
By Dwayne Bremer and Geoff Belcher
Apr 18, 2014, 18:52
An FBI sketch from 1974 of the suspect who allegedly kidnapped and killed Mary Ann Favre
Mary Ann Farve may be gone, but she is far from forgotten – local authorities announced Thursday that they are reopening the unsolved 40-year-old murder case of Farve, a Bay. St. Louis teen who was abducted on April 22, 1974 and found dead in a Pass Christian field nine months later.
"This case has to be solved," Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam said Thursday at a press conference. "This young lady and her family deserve closure. It is our duty and obligation to locate this killer and bring him to justice."
The new investigation will be a collaborative effort between the Hancock County Sheriff's Office, the Bay St. Louis Police Department, the Harrison County Sheriff's Office, and the FBI.
Adam said Thursday that authorities were motivated, in part, to reopen the case after a story about the case ran in the Sea Coast Echo on Wednesday.
Members of Farve's family said Thursday that they are thankful that the case has been reopened and hopeful the killer can be located.
"Mary Ann was a wonderful girl," one family member--who asked not be identified--said. "She was smart, thoughtful and very well behaved. I thought about her in my prayers last night and asked her to send a sign so that her killer could be found."
According to reports in the Sea Coast Echo in 1974, Farve, who lived on Boardman Avenue, left home shortly before 8 a.m. on April 22, a bicycle escorting her sister to North Bay Elementary.
She was last seen buying a soft drink at a grocery store on Dunbar Avenue.
Her sister made it to school, but Farve never made it back home.
Later in the day, her bike and the cola bottle were found near the corner of Boardman and Dunbar avenues.
Witnesses told police that they noticed a light-green '60s model Chevy which had three tail lights on each fender parked on Dunbar Avenue with the trunk open on the morning of the disappearance.
A few weeks later, the FBI produced a sketch of the alleged suspect, describing him as a man in his early 20s, of medium build and height.
Farve's body was discovered nine months later, when two rabbit hunters came across her remains in a field near the Discovery Bay subdivision in Pass Christian.
Adam said the first thing investigators will focus on is trying to locate the physical evidence.
"We know that evidence was collected and sent to the FBI lab in Washington, D.C.," Adam said. "We are working with the FBI and other agencies to try to track down the evidence and any files or notes which may have survived."
The second part of the investigation, Adam said, will be locating witnesses and former law enforcement officers involved in the case, and trying to solicit new information.
"We are going to interview all of the players and anyone who may have known something about this case," Adam said. "We also want the public to call us if they know or have heard anything."
According to news reports at the time, police had identified potential suspects in the case, but nobody was ever charged with Farve's murder.
Adam declined to say if there were any suspects at this time, but he said technology is on law enforcement's side.
"I don't know if anything went wrong with the original investigation or if they just could not get enough evidence to make an arrest," Adam said. "Technology is on our side. The only thing working against us is time, but that could help us, too. The killer may have told someone. Forty years is a long time to keep a secret. He bragged to someone about it."
Adam said anyone with information on the Farve case can call Hancock County Central dispatch at 228-255-9191 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898.
Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward for information leading to an arrest in the Farve case and other cold cases.