LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Law enforcement officers who work for agencies that are investigating the mysterious deaths of eight Jeff Davis Parish women are having their DNA tested so it can be compared with evidence from the cases.
Jeff Davis Sheriff Ricky Edwards said the move is an attempt to silence "gossip and rumors" that a law enforcement officer may be involved in the serial killings. Edwards said both former and current officers who have any involvement with the cases will be tested.
Private investigator Kirk Menard, who was hired by some of the victims' families, has also had his DNA tested.
"A member of the task force called me and asked me if I would consent and I said sure," recalled Menard. "I have nothing to hide."
Menard said he was tested two months ago.
"Anyone that's been involved in this investigation should be swabbed," said Menard.
Edwards said he announced the new DNA policy months ago and he did not understand why members of the media were reporting on it now. Regardless, Edwards said the DNA testing process, like the death investigations, will be a "long and continuous process."
Scandal has plagued the Jeff Davis Sheriff's Department in the past. In 2007, Chief Detective Warren Gary has pulled from the JD8 investigation and fined $10,000 after it was revealed he purchased a truck from a potential witness. Another detective, Paula Guillory, was ultimately fired after losing evidence about one of the suspects.
Menard said he believes the local law enforcement in charge of investigating the serial killings need more outside help, such as the FBI. Menard said he would also like to see a few other people in the community, have their DNA swabbed as well.
"I have a few possibilities that I can't comment on, but from what I understand they haven't been swabbed," said Menard.
For more information about the Jeff Davis serial killings, click here.