Hancock torso case moves to Kenner
By Dwayne Bremer
Apr 22, 2014, 18:02
The investigation into the murder of a New Orleans woman whose body washed ashore in Bay St. Louis in 2012 has been transferred to authorities in Louisiana.
Hancock County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Don Bass said Monday that his office has turned over the Jared Lockhart case to Kenner, but investigators may still seek charges here.
"We are working in conjunction with Kenner," Bass said. "We have some things working here, but they are now handling the murder investigation."
Hancock County had been the lead agency in the case; however, trying to determine exactly where Lockhart was killed has been a sticking point in the case so far, officials said.
Lockhart, an exotic dancer on Bourbon Street, was last seen leaving Temptations gentlemen's club with a couple - later identified as Terry Speaks and Margaret Sanchez -- on June 5, 2012.
On June 7, 2012, her torso and other body parts washed up on the beach near Bay Oaks Drive.
Since the body was discovered here, Hancock County took the lead in the investigation. Over the past two years, investigators here have worked tirelessly on the case, alongside New Orleans and Kenner police.
After Sanchez and Speaks were located, Kenner authorities searched their home there in efforts to try to find evidence.
Speaks was arrested on an outstanding warrant for failure to register as a sex offender.
Sanchez was originally arrested on misdemeanor charges of harboring a fugitive, but she was later released.
Bass said Tuesday that he hopes a resolution will come about in the case.
He said Hancock County may still seek charges of desecration of a corpse and/or tampering with evidence.
"This case has been out there for a while," he said. "All of the agencies have done a lot of work. Hopefully, we can see some results in the near future. We are going to continue to work on things from our end and assist Kenner with whatever they may need."
On Tuesday, Kenner police said their department is actively working on the case.
"There are things that are being developed fairly regularly over the last year and a half," Kenner PD Chief Steve Caraway said. "This is something based on a mutual decision of our DA's offices. We'll take a look at the big picture and go from there."