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Mississippi Authorities Searching For Persons Of Interest In Stripper’s Murder

Jaren Lockheart surveillance
Jaren Lockheart surveillance photo

Deputies in Hancock County, Miss. have released pictures and surveillance footage of a couple last seen with Jaren Lockheart, the New Orleans woman whose dismembered body washed ashore Thursday night.

Chief Deputy Don Bass said Lockheart was last seen early Wednesday leaving the Bourbon Street strip club where she worked. A man and a woman were also seen leaving the club with her, and video surveillance cameras along Bourbon Street show Lockheart voluntarily walking with the couple.

Bass said the man in the footage is a person of interest in the case. He said they’re looking for the woman as well, and he said police “fear for her safety.”

“She is possibly in danger if the perpetrator thinks she can identify him,” said Glenn Grannan, Chief Investigator of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department. “This was not some random shooting. Whoever did this is capable of some pretty heinous things.”

Pieces of Lockheart’s body washed ashore along the Mississippi coast Thursday night. Police say the body had been stabbed in the chest, but the exact cause of death remains unclear. Grannan also said detectives talked to oceanographers to determine whether tide patterns could help them trace where Lockheart’s body was dumped.

Investigators there reached out to their counterparts here in Lafayette, believing the remains could have been those of Mickey Shunick, a University of Louisiana at Lafayette student who has been missing since May 19. That possibility was quickly ruled out by Shunick’s sister, though, because the body had piercings she said her sister did not have.

If you have any information that could help investigators determine who Lockheart was last with you’re urged to contact the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office at (228) 466-6900 or the New Orleans Police Department at (504) 821-2222.

[via Associated Press, NBC33 News, Biloxi Sun Herald]

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