KENNER, La. (WGNO) – In a town where senseless, brutal murders are accepted as a daily part of life. The killing and dismemberment of Jaren Lockhart stood out above the rest.
The 22-year-old New Orleans mother disappeared June 5, 2012. Days later her remains washed ashore along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Now investigators in Kenner stood before the media with a suspect in custody.
Prosecutors in Jefferson Parish have charged Margaret Sanchez, 30, with second degree murder and obstruction of justice in connection with the dismemberment of Lockhart.
Investigators have always suspected Sanchez and Terry Speaks, 41, were involved in Lockhart’s murder but never had the evidence until now.
On the night Lockhart disappeared she was last seen leaving a Bourbon Street club where she worked with Sanchez and Speaks.
At a press conference Thursday Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway said, “We were able to locate people who weren’t located before.”
He did not elaborate on who these people were or how they fit in to the investigation.
Investigators have also obtained license plate recognition cameras that spotted the couple leaving New Orleans and entering Kenner. A short time later leaving Kenner and driving to Mississippi, and then returning.
Investigators believe Lockhart’s body was dumped off the Bay St. Louis Bridge.
In regards to Speaks, Caraway said he is still a suspect, “He is currently in custody and he’s not going anywhere.”
Speaks is currently being held on an unrelated charge sex offender charge in a New York federal prison. Caraway said investigators have traveled to New York and spoke with Speaks.
Caraway won’t speculate on a possible motive. But he said, “We don’t believe it was a kidnapping case.”
On Thursday, Caraways warned reporters this investigation is far from over.
“You won’t see this going to trial in the next few months,” he said. “It is by no means over and done with. We still have a lot of work to do that hasn’t been done in the past.”