By Kevin McGill/The Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS — Two people held in Louisiana are suspects in the death of a Bourbon Street stripper whose body parts recently washed ashore on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, an investigator said Wednesday.
Margaret Sanchez, 28, and Terry Christopher Speaks, 39, are being held on charges unrelated to the death of 22-year-old Jaren Lockhart and have not been charged with her death but are suspects, said Hancock County, Miss., Sheriff’s Department chief investigator Glenn Grannan.
The two are seen on a video from the club where Lockhart worked, and they left with Lockhart early June 6, according to Hancock investigators.
Lockhart’s torso was found on the beach in Bay St. Louis on Thursday evening. Other body parts and remnants of her clothing were found Saturday on beaches in Pass Christian and Long Beach. She had been stabbed in the chest, but the precise cause of death remains unclear. Authorities said the body was identified in part by tattoos.
Speaks was in federal custody Wednesday after U.S. Marshals arrested him on a North Carolina warrant accusing him of failing to register as a sex offender, U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said.
A brief indictment from federal court in North Carolina’s Middle District said he was accused in Surry County, N.C., of failing to register as a sex offender but does not describe the sex offense.
Federal prosecutors have asked to have Speaks held as a flight risk, Letten said.
Both Speaks and Sanchez are listed with the same address in Kenner, and were booked into the Tangipahoa Parish jail late Tuesday — Sanchez on a charge of resisting an officer, and Speaks on a charge of aggravated assault and on fugitive warrants from North Carolina and Virginia.
Speaks also has used the names Leslie Allen Rice or Leslie Allen Sanchez, Grannan said.
The Kenner home where Sanchez and Speaks were believed to share a residence was searched for several hours Friday and several items were removed. Among the agencies on the scene were: the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, Kenner Police, U.S. Marshal’s Office and the FBI/New Orleans Violent Crime Task Force.
On Monday, Grannan said detectives had met with oceanographers to ask whether tide patterns could indicate where Lockhart’s dismembered body was dumped.
Lockhart’s boyfriend reported her missing to New Orleans police after she didn’t return from work. The two lived together at a motel in an area of New Orleans known for drug trafficking and prostitution.
A friend of Lockhart, Katrina Lucas Friedman, described her to The Times-Picayune as “smart, and very creative.”
“She loved art and loved to write,” Friedman said.
Associated Press writer Janet McConnaughey contributed to this report.