At a press conference yesterday, members of the task force investigating a case of eight serial murders of women from the Jennings area, urged the public to come forward with any information that may help bring closure to the case. The task force also announced it was upping the reward for information leading to an arrest from $35,000 to $85,000. "It's going to take the public's involvement," said Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso. "Not just the police, to feed the information to us properly so that this can be concluded and this killer be brought to justice."
Mancuso added, "This is a tough case and I wish we could put a time frame on when this can end but I don't think any of us can do that... but I can tell you this, these agencies are working very closely together, state police, the FBI, several of the surrounding sheriffs. Unfortunately, we don't know where this killer is. We don't know what parish he resides in. We don't even know if he resides or she resides in the state of Louisiana. But I can tell you that it affects all of us, the surrounding parishes also, and we're going to use whatever resources we have available."
Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff Rickey Edwards acknowledged the task force believes the killings are linked, and likely the work of a serial killer. "As we have stated in previous releases," he said, "it is the collective opinion of all agencies involved in this investigation that these murders may have been committed by a common offender. For that reason, the label 'serial murder' is applicable; however, we have not used that label when referring to this investigation because it does not benefit us in our goals to identify and apprehend the offender, nor does it prevent further loss of life. Labels are sometimes confusing and are subject to misinterpretation."
Edwards concluded the press conference by stressing that anyone with information needs to report it directly to the task force. "We want the public to understand that the investigative team is the only appropriate recipient of such information," he said. "Reporting case information to individuals who are not members of the investigative team could delay or even prevent that information from being acted upon. This could result in irreparable harm to the investigation, and possibly in further loss of life."
"Our other partners in this investigation are you," Edwards continued, "the citizens of Jennings, Jefferson Davis Parish, and all of the surrounding towns and parishes. We have had a tremendous response from the public and we ask for your continued support. Even if you think your information is unimportant, or that someone else has reported what you know, please contact us. Your call may be the one that helps us to solve these cases." Anyone with information on the cases is asked to call the tip-line at (337) 824-6662 or their local FBI office. More information is available at www.jeffdaviscrimes.net.