As many as 8 suspects may be involved in murder of St. John couple

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wwltv.com

Posted on April 24, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Thanh Truong / Eyewitness News
Email: ttruong@wwltv.com | Twitter: @thanh412

NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Police Department is looking into as many as eight suspects in the murder of a couple from Reserve.

Detective Ryan Vaught emphasized that investigators have information on most of the suspects and urged them to come forward.

That message came after our partners at the New Orleans Advocate obtained a search warrant that revealed more information on the investigation surrounding the murders of Kenneth and Lakeitha Joseph.

The married couple was reported missing on Feb. 19. Their bodies were discovered roughly two weeks apart in March in the Intracoastal Waterway in New Orleans East.

Documents showed the victims' feet were bound by blue nylon rope. There was also evidence that they were tethered to 30-pound kettlebells.

The minivan the Josephs were last known to be driving was eventually found in College Park, Georgia, near Atlanta. According to the search warrant, before that discovery, surveillance video from a nearby motel captured someone driving the minivan into that motel's parking lot.

After reviewing the video, Vaught determined that person to be Frank Mike. The search warrant also explains how the driver checked into the motel using a driver’s license with Frank Mike's name on it.

Information Detective Vaught gained from a source led him to a house in the 8400 block of Beachwood Court in New Orleans East, where Vaught believed Frank Mike had lived. In the search warrant, evidence including "hairs, blood, DNA and fibers" was being sought from the home.

Federal authorities arrested Frank Mike on Monday for a charge of transporting a stolen vehicle.

In a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Mike contacted Louisiana State Police to discuss his involvement in the missing van.

The LSP and New Orleans Police Department conducted a videotaped interview of Mike. In that interview, Mike told authorities that "he asked his friend for permission to use the van to travel to Atlanta, Georgia to go shopping for clothes."

The criminal complaint details that Mike learned through news reports that the van was "possibly related to a stolen van which involved two missing people," which prompted Mike to abandon the van at an apartment complex in Atlanta.

Before doing so, Mike admitted "he wiped the van down for fingerprints." Mike also told investigators that he "observed blood inside the van."

Subsequent forensic testing showed the blood samples from the van matched the DNA of both Kenneth and Lakeitha Joseph.

Those close to the victims are urging those involved the murders to surrender.

"In the name of Jesus, turn yourself in. Help us get closure. It's very hard going through this and not knowing who did it, what kind of people are walking among us," said Joshua Jones, who said he's been close friends with Kenneth Joseph for more than seven years.

Vaught also urged the multiple suspects to turn themselves in, reiterating that investigators "know who they are."

Detectives are determining Frank's level of involvement in the crime. He has not been named a suspect.

This story was developed with our partners at the New Orleans Advocate.

 

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