Grand jury indicts man connected to murdered Reserve couple - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Grand jury indicts man connected to murdered Reserve couple

The man accused of driving a van that had been loaned to a murdered Reserve couple across state lines was indicted Friday by a federal grand jury.

Frank Mike Jr., 45, of New Orleans, faces one count of interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle.

According to the indictment, Mike drove a stolen 2010 Dodge Caravan from News Orleans to Atlanta. A criminal complaint filed earlier this week said that on Feb. 19, family members reported to the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Department that Lakeitha and Kenneth Joseph were missing. A relative also said that she loaned her 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan to the Josephs, but that the van had not been returned.

On February 27, the missing van was recovered by the Fulton County Police Department at a College Park, Ga., apartment complex. Later, video surveillance showed that the van had been parked at the Travelodge Hotel in College Park.  It also showed that Mike drove the van into the hotel parking lot on Feb. 21. 

On March 10, the New Orleans Police Department discovered the body of Lakeitha Joseph, bound with rope, in the Intracoastal Waterway in New Orleans East. On March 22, police recovered the body of Kenneth Joseph, also bound with rope, in the same body of water.

The Orleans Parish coroner ruled the cause of death in both cases as drowning. Later, forensic testing revealed that blood samples taken from the stolen van matched the DNA of both Josephs.

Mike appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Wells Roby on Tuesday. The following day, Roby ordered the defendant detained without bond. 

If convicted, Mike faces a maximum of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.

Shortly after Mike's arrest, FBI spokeswoman Mary Beth Romig said that more charges against him may be forthcoming, and that there may be more suspects arrested in the case.

NOPD chief Ronal Serpas says the investigation into who killed the couple is far from over.

"It's a very active criminal investigation into what we believe to be a particularly terrible crime," he said. "I'm not able to get into the details of the case right now, but stay tuned."

The case has been investigated jointly by the FB I, DEA, NOPD, the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office, the Fulton County Police Department, the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office and the St. John the Baptist Parish District Attorney's Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. attorneys Michael Redmann and Mark Miller.


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