Search efforts continue to no avail for beloved New Orleans East grandmother

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NEW ORLEANS —  You can help a New Orleans family end a painful mystery that has stretched on for nearly two months.

The family knows 76-year-old Jean Stokes may no longer be alive, but without her body, they have no peace.

“It hurts me and I want to bring closure I want to help my family end this situation. We need help. We need help from anybody who may know anything. If you know something, please say something. Please say something. We want to bring Maw-Maw home— we will take anything. We want her home. We want her home,” said Darlene Veal Stokes, Jean’s daughter.

State Representative Austin Badon organized a step-by-step search on Friday (December 1) for Stokes, who “seemingly vanished” seven weeks ago.

Stokes’ car was found about a mile and a half from her home on Good Drive in New Orleans East– but there was no sign of her.  Rep. Badon, whose district includes that area, says the case is baffling.

“My dilemma is, at certain points, you don’t know where else to look,” he said.

Badon says he’s led several searches already- along the levee and in the woods near where the car was found.

In previous searches, both Hunt Correctional Center and the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s office loaned their canine teams. On Friday, Rep. Badon says there will be no dogs, but he hopes that good-hearted people with a keen eye will do their best.

Rep. Badon told WGNO Thursday night that he’s leaving the investigation to the New Orleans Police Department. But he says Stokes’ family believes foul play is involved in her disappearance.

“They expect she’s deceased, but let’s at least bring her home,” he said.

Her daughter says Jean is a New Orleans East native. She lived in the same house for 45 years, and has four children and 12 grand children who miss her dearly.

And with Christmas coming, she says they’ve been asking a lot of questions about “Maw-Maw,” as they call her.

They say Jean loved Mardi Gras, dancing, gardening and her babies, grand babies and great grand babies. They’re desperately hoping to find answers.

If you know anything, contact the police.

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