BAY ST. LOUIS, MS – Last Thursday, a construction crew working on a beach in Bay St. Louis found the torso of a then unidentified white female.
According to police, the body had a stab wound to the chest and was missing the head, legs and arms. Two days later, a calf was discovered on the beach. Shortly after, a thigh. Not 20 minutes later, a head. Then, lastly, fishermen found another calf and some women’s apparel.
Pathologists have now determined the body belongs to 22-year-old Jaren Lockhart of New Orleans. The mother of a 3-year-old girl was reported missing on Wednesday. Her boyfriend last saw her Tuesday night after she took a cab from a motel to Bourbon Street where she worked as a stripper. She was last seen on surveillance video leaving work early Wednesday morning.
A DNA match has not been made yet, but police are certain the remains belong to Lockhart after matching her tattoos to the remains. They also stated the clothes she is seen wearing in the video matches the items discovered at the beach.
Hancock County Lead Investigator Glenn Grannan said, “Our primary focus, up to this point, had been identifying the victim about midway last night into our investigation concerning that, we started to switch focus to try and determine who is responsible for this heinous act.”
They will also continue to look for more body parts and continue to review surveillance video from other nearby businesses. They have not revealed who she left work with, or if she was seen leaving with anyone at all.
“We have some information about who she may have been with last, but none of it is confirmed so we have a lot, a lot of work to do,” Grannan said.
Initially, some had assumed the body may belong to 19-year-old Brittney Wood, the teenager who went missing in Alabama on May 31st. She was seen heading to her uncle’s house. Her uncle committed suicide the day after she was supposed to meet him.
Brittany’s family spoke with investigators before the torso was identified as Lockhart’s, and learned piercings on the torso–two in the chest, one in the navel–did not match Brittany’s.
If you have any information about Lockhart’s murder, you are asked to call the
Hancock County Sheriff’s Department immediately at 228-466-6910. -6910.