By The Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS — A Mississippi sheriff’s investigator hopes surveillance video from Bourbon Street in New Orleans will provide clues about the death of a strip club dancer whose dismembered body washed ashore on the Gulf Coast.
Hancock County Chief Investigator Glen Grannon said Sunday that 22-year-old Jaren Lockhart reported for work Tuesday night and left early Wednesday. Her torso was found late Thursday in Bay St. Louis. Other body parts, including her head and parts of her legs, were found later.
It remained unclear where Lockhart was killed and dismembered and where the body parts were put in the water. Grannon said experts on tides would be consulted Monday to help determine where the body parts were likely dumped.
Lockhart had been living at a New Orleans motel. New Orleans police said she had been reported missing last week by her boyfriend, who said he became concerned because he was unable to contact her after she left for work Tuesday night.
“We know she made it to work and left in the early morning hours,” Grannan said. He said there is some surveillance video showing her leaving the club. He would not go into detail about who she left with. Investigators have been working with New Orleans police and interviewing people who knew or might have seen Lockhart. He said they also planned to check video from other nearby businesses.
Lockhart had been a resident of the Capri Motel, a $50-a-day motel frequented by Gulf oil workers between offshore stints and by French Quarter bar employees.
Grannan said Lockhart had a small child but he doesn’t think she had custody of the girl.
New Orleans police put out a news release seeking information on the missing woman on Thursday. That same day, a female torso with a stab wound was found in Bay St. Louis by workers pumping sand onto the beach to rebuild it.
Early Saturday, a fisherman found part of a lower leg in nearby Pass Christian. Authorities searched beaches in Harrison County, finding an upper leg portion nearby and a woman’s head to the west in Long Beach. A fourth body part was later found in Pass Christian.
Grannan said DNA tests were pending but authorities are certain the body parts are Lockhart’s, based on known physical descriptions including extensive tattoos.