New Details in Torso Murder -- Remains tossed from Bay Bridge
By Dwayne Bremer
May 12, 2014, 09:06
Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway, center, and Kenner detectives spoke to the media Thursday at a press conference regarding an arrest in the Jaren Lockhart murder case. Kenner police arrested Margaret Sanchez, 29, on Wednesday and charged her with second-degree murder.
Jaren Lockhart's dismembered body was tossed off of the Bay St. Louis Bridge early on the morning of June 5, 2012 after she had been brutally stabbed and dismembered a few hours earlier in Louisiana, authorities said Thursday.
New details of the Lockhart murder investigation came to light Thursday at a press conference in Kenner.
On Wednesday, Kenner police arrested Margaret Sanchez, 29, and charged her with second-degree murder in connection with the Lockhart case.
Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway said second-degree murder was the "appropriate charge" and police believe that Sanchez helped--among other things--dismember and dispose of Lockhart's body. Sanchez is also being charged with obstruction of justice, he said. She is being housed in the Jefferson Parish jail under no bond, officials said.
Lockhart, a single mother and exotic dancer, was last seen leaving Temptations gentlemen's club with a couple--later identified as Sanchez and Terry Speaks, 41 --on June 5, 2012.
The next day, Lockhart's torso washed up on the beach in Bay St. Louis. A few days later, other body parts washed up in Pass Christian.
Caraway said Thursday that since receiving the case from Hancock County two months ago, Kenner detectives have been able to discover new witnesses which led to Sanchez's arrest.
Kenner has worked alongside Hancock County detectives since shortly after Lockhart's body was discovered.
Other agencies such as the New Orleans Police Department and the FBI have also assisted in the case.
"This is a complex case," he said. "There are a lot of agencies that were working on this case together. Hancock County originally took the lead because the body was discovered there."
Caraway also said evidence in the form of state license plate recognition cameras in Louisiana and Mississippi shows that the vehicle Speaks and Sanchez were driving left New Orleans after they picked up Lokchart, traveled to Kenner and then traveled to Mississippi.
DNA was recovered in the vehicle, but the results of tests to see who it belonged to has yet to be returned from the FBI crime lab, Caraway said.
Caraway said he feels confident that the murder took place in Kenner and the body was dumped off the Bay St. Louis bridge.
Speaks, who is still in federal custody in New York, is still being considered a suspect, Caraway said.
In Louisiana, felony cases which have potential live sentences must be presented to the grand jury within 120 days of arrest, Kenner Police Spokesman Brian McGregor said Thursday.
He said police should know if Sanchez will be indicted "within three or four" months.
Hancock County authorities said last week, that they may still charge Sanchez and Speaks with charges involving the disposal of the body.
Caraway said the investigation is ongoing and even more suspects could be implicated.
"Stay tuned," he said.