LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - New developments in the murder investigation of a Moss Bluff teen. Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso says they have several persons of interest, 16 of whom are in jail.
19-year-old Sierra Bouzigard's body was found a week ago Monday off John once Road in Moss Bluff, dead from blunt force trauma to her head. Since then sheriff's investigators have put in long hours tracking her last moves and say she was seen several places in the Moss Bluff area the night before her body was discovered.
Sheriff Mancuso says they've interviewed 22 acquaintances last seen with Sierra, including 16 illegal immigrants, who were arrested are now in the custody of immigration authorities.
Mancuso says at this time they are waiting for test results on evidence and phone records. However, should one of the illegals become a target of the investigation, Mancuso says that could present a challenge.
"They are going to start the paperwork to get them back to Mexico and we are just going to have to try and overcome that. And get as much information as much evidence processed that we can," said Sheriff Mancuso.
Mancuso says those results could take up two weeks to get back. Meanwhile, all of the illegals have been charged with illegal entry of a dwelling - a misdemeanor felony - in hopes of keeping them in the states until they can be cleared.
Sierra's Family: "She didn't have to die that way."
Meanwhile Sierra's family tells 7 News they're pleased with the progress investigators have made. Monday they held a memorial service to remember her.
Just 19-years-old, Sierra Bouzigard had so much life left to live. Found dumped off John Koonce Road in Moss Bluff with severe head trauma, sheriff's investigators describe her murder as brutal.
"She didn't have to die that way," said Dana Bouzigard, Sierra's mom.
For Dana, it's all still surreal. She says Thanksgiving was hard.
"We had her pictures out on the dinner table. We had lots of family over that I haven't seen in a long time. It was bittersweet," explained Dana.
Dana lives in South Carolina and says she last spoke to Sierra on Sunday the night before her body was discovered. Dana recalls Sierra was in good spirits and looking forward to the holidays.
"She sounded well... She sounded okay," said Dana.
Sierra's grandmother Gayle Bouzigard also spoke to her on Sunday. "She had nothing to be concerned about... She was going to come for Christmas. Spend Christmas with us... Didn't make it," said Gayle.
Gayle practically raised Sierra and says she was full of life. "She could give you a hard time, you know she wasn't an angel. But she was loving, very intelligent. Compassionate, very compassionate," said Gayle.
Both Dana and Gayle say Sierra would want people to learn from her mistakes.
"She may not have made the right choices sometimes, which we don't always do, but I believe her death won't be in vain," said Dana.
"You just can't be with them 24/7. I want to tell the people out there to hug your kids tonight... Watch your babies. Hug your kids," said Gayle.
As for the investigation, Dana says, "I believe that they are doing the best they can to find out who killed my baby."
As they lay Sierra to rest. Dana is begging for answers that will lead to justice: "Somebody knows something. I believe that. I believe someone knows something and may be afraid to say, but we got to stop whoever did it because whoever did it. It could be your child, it could be your baby, it could be anybody... No one else deserves to die," said Dana.
Anyone who knows anything is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 491-3605.
Sierra's family would like to thank everyone for the prayers and support during this very difficult time.