KENNER, La. (WGNO) – Roughly two weeks after Kenner Police take over the Jaren Lockhart murder investigation involving the murder and dismemberment of a New Orleans mother an arrest has been made, and new details about the gruesome murder are emerging.
Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway says 30-year-old Margaret Sanchez has been booked with second degree murder and obstruction of justice.
“That pertains to the dismemberment. The cutting up of the body and throwing the body into the Gulf,” explains Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway.
Sanchez and her suspected accomplice Terry Speaks were the last known people to see Lockhart alive. The three were seen on surveillance video leaving a Bourbon Street club together.
Chief Caraway now says Speaks has confessed to the crime saying he and Sanchez killed Lockhart, cut her up, and disposed of her. According to Chief Caraway, Lockhart agreed to leave with Speaks and Sanchez after they offered to pay her to party and have an encounter with the two. As to what went wrong, that is still a mystery.
“At this point obviously he has not been charged. He is in custody in New York,” says Chief Caraway.
Chief Caraway says the confession did not lead to Margaret Sanchez’s arrest. Instead, he says new witnesses and technology played a major role.
“The license plate recognition cameras, the same cameras we use to catch vehicle thieves, you know, picked them up coming into Kenner shortly after they left New Orleans,” says Caraway, “Then sometime later they were picked up going to Mississippi and then returning here from Mississippi after staying in Mississippi for just a brief time.”
Melissa Matey with Louisiana State Police says the cameras aren’t your typical traffic cameras. License Plate Recognition Cameras are hidden, and strategically placed.
“There are multiple cameras that are spread throughout the state of Louisiana, so we are touching multiple roadways and parishes around the state,” says Matey.
The cameras are often used for amber alerts. Chief Caraway says he doesn’t believe Lockhart was kidnapped. Instead he says, “They selected this person, Jaren Lockhart, and decided she was the person that they wanted to go with them.”
Terry Speaks is in custody in New York on unrelated charges.
Chief Caraway also tells WGNO whoever dismembered Lockhart tried to remove pieces of tattoo covered skin so that authorities could not identify her, but they were not successful.