As family mourns slain mother, victim’s former employer increases reward money to $10,000


NEW ORLEANS — Florita Lazard is still mourning the loss of her 40-year-old daughter, Ilia Henderson.

Henderson was murdered on January 18, in a shooting in the 3000 block of Bienville. 

“I miss my baby. She really was my best friend, really,” said Lazard.

Officers say Henderson was sitting on the porch with her patient who uses a wheelchair when a gunman opened fire. The shooter also injured one person and killed 31-year-old Santiago Rubio. Detectives believe Rubio was the intended target.  

“She didn’t deserve this. That’s what all of this is about. She did not deserve this,” New Orleans Homicide Detective Tanisha Smith said. “The suspect vehicle that was involved in this incident- it’s gonna be a tan or gold color Suburban- we’re unsure of the year.”

Henderson’s boss, Jian Durand donated an additional $5,000, increasing the reward money to $10,000 in hopes that someone will have incentive to come forward. 

“Ilia was murdered at her job caring for her client who she loved for seven years in front of him and her grandchild was there- five years old,” Durand said. “At what point do we stop?”

While the case is still under investigation, Smith and Crimestoppers have vowed to bring the people responsible for this shooting to justice. 

“Anybody out there that knows something, please help me to find out who did this,” Lazard pleaded.

The New Orleans Police Department is looking for a Chevrolet Suburban used by at least two suspects in the double homicide. There is damage to the rear passenger door and the driver’s door handle is missing. Crimestoppers is urging anyone who knows or sees this vehicle to call them immediately at (504) 822-1111.

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