Audubon Nature Institute issues statement about Sydney Hanson’s murder; memorial set for this afternoon

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Scene from the homicide and fire on River Road

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman issued a statement today about Sydney Hanson, an Audubon employee who was murdered Monday in Old Jefferson.

“The Audubon Nature Institute family mourns the loss of Sydney Hanson, who served as a customer service cashier in the Audubon Zoo Marketplace gift shop,” Forman said in the statement. “Sydney began her work with Audubon in 2014, and is remembered by co-workers as a delightful friend with a great sense of humor and a personality full of heart who was always willing to help others. She was tragically taken away from us just as she was about to embark on an exciting new chapter in her life. We extend sympathies to her family, friends and all who love her.”

Hanson, 20, was found in her burning bedroom Monday afternoon by Jefferson Parish firefighters working to extinguish a blaze police think her boyfriend Jatory Evans set after killing Hanson.

She had been stabbed multiple times, and there were materials with accelerant on top of her body.

Hanson was seven months pregnant with what is believed to be Evans’ baby. Evans has been arrested and is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree feticide.

Sydney Hanson’s coworkers had planned a baby shower for Sydney at 11 a.m. Monday. She never showed up for the shower.

Police suspect Evans in the murders of Sydney Hanson’s parents, 46-year-old Dwayne Hanson and his wife, 45-year-old Samantha Hanson, who were found at the family’s home at 4103 River Road.

There will be a memorial for Sydney Hanson today at 4:30 p.m. at the Audubon Zoo.