~ Synopsis ~

The mystery began back in May 2005. Unbeknownst to law enforcement at the time, the first of what would eventually turn into seven female bodies, was discovered in Jeff Davis Parish Louisiana.

Jeff Davis Parish (JDP) is located in far south and west Louisiana. It has a population around 31,000 with 80% being white and 18% black. It is a rural area comprised of five incorporated towns which include Elton, Fenton, Lake Arthur, Welsh and Jennings (which is the parish seat). JDP is centered between Houston and New Orleans, each less than 200 miles away, and can be easily accessed via Interstate 10 which runs east and west. The largest employer is WalMart with 350 employees.

To date, seven young ladies ranging in age from 17-29, have been found dead in rural, yet publicly accessible locations. The first body was found May 20, 2005 and the most recent body was found November 15, 2008. Three of the deaths were in 2008.

Four of the deaths have been ruled homicides and the manner of death (throat slit) released in only two of those cases. Autopsies were unable to discover the cause of death in three of the cases and their bodies showed no signs of trauma.

All of the bodies were located within a 10 mile radius of each other. At least one was found nude, some were partially clothed. From what little media is available, its sounds as if most, if not all, did not have shoes on.

Three of the bodies were discovered in the month of May…..one in 2005, 2007 and 2008.

All of the bodies were discovered by private citizens with the exception of one which was found by a Jennings police officer. The officer discovered it around 2 am lying on a road that led to a police shooting range.

It has been reported that the women were involved in illicit lifestyles of drugs and prostitution and that many of them knew each other and ran in the same circles. Several had high levels of drugs and alcohol in their systems at the time of death.

Two of the victims were related to each other. Two of them were best friends. Two of them had children that had the same grandmother. One of the victims worked at a fast food restaurant managed by another victim’s mother. Two of them mentioned to family that they were scared and/or feared for their lives prior to their deaths. One of the victims was murdered within less than a week of moving back to Jennings. The two victims that had their throats slit were black.

Local law enforcement has been hesitant to label these deaths as serial killings. They have not actually even stated that the deaths are all related…..although, Sheriff Edwards has gone on record as saying “in his gut” he knows they all are. He has also stated he thinks the person is “forensically smart” but doesn’t know that for a fact.

Prior to when the latest, and youngest, victim went missing, there was very little information in the media regarding these deaths. Sadly enough, up until recently, investigators were even negligent in providing the victims’ families with information or staying in contact with them.

One has to wonder how this many mysterious deaths/murders, in such a relatively small time frame, in such a rural area, can go virtually unknown to the public.

UPDATE: On August 19, 2009, an 8th victim’s body was located in neighboring Acadia Parish.  She was a first cousin to the Jeff Davis Parish jail warden and was also known to frequent the same areas as previous victims.  Asphyxia was ruled as the cause of death.  It has also been learned since this initial writing that one of the previous victims also died as a result of asphyxia.

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