Dead women share troubled past

May 15, 2007
By Theresa Schmidt

Over the last two years, four women have been found dumped in rural parts of Jeff Davis Parish.  Tonight the brother of the latest victim speaks out about her drug addiction and sad life.

Michael Dubois--admits his little sister Whitney was a lost soul: "She was in the drug world. We tried helping her. We tried getting help."

Dubois believes their deaths are connected because their lives were connected in a number of ways, at least for three of the women. "They were all crack addicts. They all ran in the same circles."  Michael says Whitney and victim Loretta Lynn Lewis had even dated two brothers.

One man who police say knew three of the victims is 51 year old Frankie J. Richard-- booked for rape and in the Jeff Davis jail with a bond of $750-thousand dollars. But Sheriff Ricky Edwards says Richard is also of interest because they think he had contact with three of the four women found dead. "He is involved in the last days of their lives. Now what does that mean. I'm still not sure, that's what we're' trying to investigate and find out. Is he a person of interest? he's a person of interest in the timelines of their lives. Is he involved? We won't know that until we do more further investigation. While one of the four women was definitely murdered, there's no clear cause of death in three cases. Preliminary results in Whitney's death indicate no evidence of trauma, but that does not rule out suffocation or drug overdose.

Edwards explains, "Could it be homicide? Yes. Could it be overdose? Yes. That has not been determined. That is what we are still investigating. Reporter: If it were overdose, why would the women wind up on the side of the road? Sheriff: I cannot answer that at this time except maybe the people they were with at the time did not want to be seen with them or that they were afraid (and) dumped the body. I don't know that that is what is happening. That is a possibility."

Despite their troubled lives, losing a sister is no less painful.  Says Michael, tearfully. "She is a human being and she didn't deserve to die like she did. She had her problems but she's still a human. She wasn't an animal."

Sheriff Edwards says he too has compassion for the victims.  "The lifestyle they live are their business. Nobody deserves to die a tragic death or be dumped in a public place. "

Toxicology results on Whitney Dubois will take time, but Edwards says her body is being released to the family.

Anyone with information on any of the cases is urged to contact the Jeff Davis parish sheriff's department at 337- 824-3850.