Family of missing N.O. woman speaks after torso found

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 8, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 8 at 10:10 PM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- A gruesome discovery along the Mississippi Gulf Coast may be connected to the case of a missing New Orleans woman. Jaren Lockhart was last seen on Tuesday and her family wants her home.

Lockhart says his sister Jaren has disappeared before, eventually turning up at a friend's house. But this time around it appears to be a very different story.

The New Orleans Police Department says the 22-year-old was last seen leaving a motel in the 2400 block of Tulane Avenue. Her boyfriend told police she had taken a cab to the 300 block of Bourbon where she works as dancer.

"I talked to investigators earlier today. I basically gave them a description of my sister. She had both her nipples pierced and her belly button and I told them she did have two sparrow tattoos on her stomach and she has a skull tattoo with a pink bow on its head on her ribs," said Lockhart.

The Hancock County Sheriff's Office says the torso of a white female was found in Bay Saint Louis on Thursday. Coincidentally it also had several body piercings and tattoos.

"She was dismembered and decapitated. Apparently, the body washed ashore from an unknown location," said Chief Deputy Don Bass with the Hancock County Sheriff's Office.

Hancock County Coroner Jim Faulk wouldn't say much else about the torso, other than that preliminary information shows it may belong to a woman who went missing from new orleans this week.

Investigators say the west to east current could have carried the remains from New Orleans to Bay Saint Louis in a two-day period.

Eyewitness News asked Lockhart if his family had heard from authorities about the identity of that torso. This was his response:

"No, confirmation that that's my sister. I hope its not."

Despite the gruesome discovery across the stateline, Jaren's family is remaining optimistic. They hope the 22-year-old will be reunited with her family and 3-year-old baby girl. They are also asking anyone who many know something about her disappearance to step forward.

"Please come out and tell us something. Let us know anything. That way we can try and find her. We love her very much. We want her to know that we love her very much and we want her home," said Lockhart.

The New Orleans Police Department says investigators from the Hancock County Sheriff's Office are in town to meet with local investigators. The Coroner says there won't be a positive identification of the remains until DNA test results come back. That could happen by Tuesday.

"I seen it on the news and on facebook and all over the internet and thats when it reality hit me, my sister is really missing," said Lance Lockhart, during a telephone interview on Friday night.

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