Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
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GRETNA, La. -- Jefferson Parish homicide detectives are looking for suspects in two murders that happened over night in Gretna.

One involved a young woman who was expecting a baby. Neighbors say the area is usually quiet.

There is no reason to believe that two murders, which happened just 45 minutes apart and blocks away from each other, are in any way related, according to Jefferson Parish deputies.

The first was an African-American man, found dead from gunshot wounds. He was lying near the parking lot of an apartment complex at 336 Ruby St.

Many families live in the area. Children who play outside were aware of the details.

'I was kind of scared. I really, like, kept locking the doors and closing the windows and putting the shades down,' said Christelle Louis, 11.

'I'm scared because I have my niece. She's a baby and I don't want her to get killed, and I'm scared,' said her friend Carlene Ruiz, who is going to be in fifth grade.

Not to far away in the Aladdin Castle apartment complex at 617 Whitney Ave., Jefferson Parish deputies are looking for answers to another murder.

Katherine Martinez, 23, was found dead from apparent stab wounds in her kitchen, in apartment 408. Police say her family said she was in her third trimester of pregnancy.

A man called 911 earlier for an ambulance, but she was pronounced dead on the scene and her baby was unable to be saved.

To give you perspective of where the murders happened, they are not far from Oakwood Shopping Center and the West Bank Expressway in unincorporated Gretna. The neighbors say this area is normally very quiet with a good police presence.

'It's usually a quiet, safe area. I mean, nothing really goes on around here,' said a man who lives in the Aladdin Castle complex who did not want to be identified.

'Before the Katrina, oh my God, this place was terrible. But now in the last years, it is much better because the police always is cruise in the street,' said Jessica Fortin who lives near Ruby Street.

'I've been seeing, like, polices go around, around, around in the neighborhood and I think I feel kind of safe with the police around and around,' said Louis.

Deputies say there was no forced entry into Martinez's apartment. When her mother could not reach her by phone, she called someone to kick in the apartment door, and that's when her daughter was found.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office is asking for your help in solving these murders.

If you have any information, call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.

View Jefferson Parish Murder Map -- 2014 in a larger map

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