Sheriff Edwards announces new team
By Howell Dennis
JENNINGS – Jefferson Davis Sheriff Ricky Edwards held a press conference Thursday afternoon to announce the formation of a multi-jurisdictional investigative team which will work full-time investigating the murders of the seven women who have been slain in Jennings and the surrounding area over the past three years. The conference was attended by members of the media, concerned citizens, and angry family members of the victims.
“These men and women will work tirelessly, using every available research tool available,” said Edwards. “We have also set up a new work center where tips may be called in and we ask that anyone with any information, no matter how minor it may seem to call us at (337) 824-6662.”
Edwards also announced that a website would soon be formed which will offer information on each of the victims.
He also gave a profile of what investigators believe person/persons who perpetrated these crimes would be described.
“This is a person who is superficially glib, self confident, frequents the same areas as the victims, lures girls with an offer of crack cocaine,” Edwards said. “He may have a criminal record, possibly one involving a knife.”
Though Edwards gave what seemed to be a description of one man, he refused to confirm that all the victim’s were killed by a single person. He even refused to say that the killer/killers are male.
“We are looking at every angle and we will not speculate,” he said. “We will only work with facts.”
“I can tell you that the person or people who committed this crime made some mistakes,” he said refusing to go into detail.
Edwards also had a message for the media.
“Members of the press need to understand that they only should report the facts and not sensationalize,” he said. “I will never comment on speculation or rumors, just know that we will be working every tip we receive and I will give information to you as it comes to me.”
“We also need to look at the people around us,” he added. “People think of a killer being like someone you’d see in a horror film. They could be your neighbor, your coworker, or someone who looks like an average individual.”
“Why are you just forming this task force now?” asked a member of the media.
“We have put individuals on each of these cases but this new force will be dedicated to these cases only,” he responded.
Another person asked if anyone had considered whether a member of law enforcement had ever been suspected.
“It would be crazy for me to speculate on something of that nature at this time,” responded Edwards. “We have been looking at many people.”
While the questions asked by the media may have seemed tough, they paled in comparison to those asked by family members of the victims.
Brittany Jones, a sister of one of the victims, wanted to know why investigators had not come to her family’s home during the two years since her sister’s death.
The question seemed to catch Edwards off guard and he responded that his office would soon be in touch with them.
Lorita Doucet, an aunt of one of the victims, was upset about the way the victims were being portrayed by officials.
“That’s all we hear about are these young ladies lifestyles,” she said. “They may have made some mistakes in their lives but they still have families who love them and nobody deserves to die like they did.”
Once again the number to the newly formed task force is (337) 824-6662.