KENNER, LA (WAFB) - The cold case murder investigation of Jaren Lockhart has gained renewed momentum due to new evidence. Officials confirm to WAFB 9 News that jurisdiction has been transfered from Hancock County to the Kenner Police Department.
"We presented new evidence to the Jefferson Parish District Attorney several weeks ago," Glenn Grannan, lead investigator for the Hancock County Sheriff's Office, explained. "The new information, from a circumstantial point, indicates a higher probability that the killing happened in Kenner. The evidence was strong enough to convince the District Attorney, which is huge."
Lockheart, a 22-year-old dancer, was reported missing to the New Orleans Police Department on June 6, 2012. Her dismembered body washed ashore on a beach in Bay St. Louis, Miss. over the course of several days.
Although investigators identified two suspects, Margaret Sanchez and Terry Speaks, they were unable to formally charge them due to a lack of evidence. The duo was arrested on unrelated charges during the weeks following Lockheart's death. Speaks remains in a New York federal prison, but Sanchez was released from the Tangipahoa Parish Prison.
Grannan says they are still the primary suspects in the case.
"We've had our gut feelings about what happened, but we haven't had enough evidence to support it," Grannan said. "We are a small department and we have limited resources for this investigation. The Kenner Police Department has a lot more at their disposal to keep this case alive."