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Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

AVONDALE, La. -- Jefferson Parish authorities are searching for suspects in the death of a New Orleans woman found dead on the Westbank. Sheriff's deputies found the body of 37-year-old Nicole Liebert Messon lying in a ditch next to a street that bears her name, Nicholle Boulevard in Avondale.

The Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office determined Messon's death was a homicide and the cause was asphyxia due to strangulation.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office spokesman Col. John Fortunato says a passerby spotted Messon's body Sunday morning around 8 a.m. and called 911.

'Currently, our homicide investigators are trying to conduct some background information and find out where the lady was from and any other information we have about her,' said Fortunato.

Fortunato says Messon's background included prostitution arrests. Her last known address was in the 3800 block of Baudin Street in Mid-City.

One neighbor, who did not want to be identified, says Messon had violent relationship. 'He beat her up, black and blue, I'm not kidding you,' he said. 'Dumped her out on the street here and took off. She'd go back with him, he'd beat her up again.'

According to the JPSO, there were no obvious signs of trauma on Messon's body. The coroner's office later determined she had a cut lip and bruising around the neck.

Investigators say the woman also had a crack pipe stuffed in her bra. 'I can't really say whether she had a drug problem, but we believe she may have been, at some point in time, using this particular crack pipe, to carry it on her person that way,' said Fortunato.

Fortunato says the JPSO is following up on leads. 'We really don't have any known suspects at this point nor do we have a motive. But, the things that we would normally do in a homicide investigation, we're doing right now. Hopefully we can develop some information that will lead us to who may be responsible for this incident.'

Back on Baudin Street, Gloria Jean mourns the loss of a neighbor she never met. 'It's really just sad how people just go around here and kill people for no reason.' she said.

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