Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

RESERVE,La. -- A day after a body pulled out of a New Orleans East waterway was identified as a missing woman from Reserve, family and friends worry that her husband may have met the same fate.

New Orleans homicide detectives went door to door in the 500 block of Homewood Place in Reserve in St. John Parish, talking with residents and searching for answers.

Answers as to how one of their neighbors, 29-year-old Lakeitha Joseph, ended up dead in the Intracoastal Waterway, not far from Bayou Bienvenue. She and her husband, 34-year-old Kenneth Joseph, vanished nearly three weeks ago.

One neighbor who did not want to be identified said she fears Kenneth may have also drowned in the waterway.

'If she's dead, he's probably dead too,' she said. 'It's probably the same thing.'

New Orleans police boats were back on the water Wednesday afternoon, looking for Kenneth's body.

'It's not easy for me,' said the couple's great uncle Solomon Joseph. 'I'm trying to hold up for my niece. It's not easy for me.'

Solomon Joseph said he believes somebody pushed Lakeitha off the I-510 bridge into the Intracoastal.

'The way they're saying, she was alive and they threw her off the bridge,' he said. 'She had nothing damaged to her body, at all, no damage to her body at all. Like someone who went swimming and drowned.'

Last Friday, authorities searched a 14-mile stretch of woods and waterways in St. John Parish along I-55.

Soloman Joseph said the anonymous tip that led to the search was meant to throw off investigators.

'They know where the body was, all the time,' he said. 'When they made that phone call, whoever made that phone call saying they were in St. John Parish, they knew the body wasn't in St. John Parish.'

At this point in the investigation, detectives are reluctant to talk about a motive. But, family members say they believe the couple's disappearance has something to do with a dispute over money.

'The people in the parish don't know what to think no more,' said Joseph. 'Their life is in danger, if you don't get those kind of people off the street.'

St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre said, 'We have no reason to believe Kenneth Joseph is more than a missing person and a possible victim of foul play. The worst case scenario, Joseph may have also been a victim of homicide.'

The Joseph's borrowed minivan was found abandoned Feb. 27, in an apartment complex parking lot near Atlanta.

Read or Share this story: