RESERVE, La. – Authorities have identified a body found in the Intracoastal Waterway over the weekend as that of a missing man from Reserve.
His wife's body was found in that same waterway two weeks ago.
“Not my brother, not my best friend,” said Joshua Jones.
Jones passed out hundreds of fliers in the month-long search for his best friend, 34-year-old Kenneth Joseph. He was devastated when he learned Joseph was found dead.
“He just was an all around nice person, all around the table. I can't see why someone would want to do this to him,” said Jones.
Joseph and his wife, 29-year-old Lakeitha, vanished from their Reserve home over a month ago, on February 18. Lakeitha Joseph's body was found in the Intracoastal Waterway March 10.
“I hope she's remembered as the pretty beautiful woman she was, with that pretty smile she had,” said Jones.
The Josephs both drowned to death, and had been in the water for several weeks, according to John Gagliano, a spokesman for the Orleans Parish coroner’s office.
An autopsy showed Lakeitha Joseph didn't have any injuries, but authorities wouldn’t say if that was the case for Kenneth Joseph.
Their deaths remain unclassified, pending the outcome of a police investigation.
Now that the Josephs' bodies have been found, the investigation turns to why and how the couple ended up in a New Orleans waterway, and who is responsible.
Family members found the couple's home unlocked and ransacked a day after they were last seen, with their two pit bulls still inside.
A neighbor said she did not hear anything unusual the night of February 18. She added that the silver van the couple was driving was already gone when she left for work at 4 a.m. the next day.
Jones is caring for the couple's dogs now. He believes the couple was kidnapped and thrown into the water the same night.
“That's what I believe in my heart,” said Jones. “You got a lot of evil people out here.”
Authorities won't say whether the silver Dodge Caravan the couple was driving holds any clues. It was discovered in good condition at an apartment complex in Georgia about 10 days after the couple disappeared.
Some family members have said they believe finances may have led to the couple’s death.
“We heard rumors it was over some money, you know, a couple dollars,” said Jones.
Jones said the couple helped pay his bills when he was short, and did the same for other friends and relatives.
He said Lakeitha Joseph was honorably discharged from the army and worked as a security guard, but Kenneth Joseph did not have full time employment.
Now, Jones has this message for whoever may be responsible for the death of his friends.
“Please, please, I'm asking you in the name of Jesus to turn yourself in, turn yourself in so we could have closure,” said Jones.
New Orleans Police are now leading the ongoing investigation, since the Josephs' bodies were found within the city limits. Two deputies with the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office are also assisting with the investigation.
The couple's family was too distraught to do an interview.
Police had no comment on the case.
If you have any information, call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111(504) 822-1111.