Jennings teen identified as 7th victim

By Lee Peck - bio | email

Just 17-years-old Brittney Gary is now the youngest of seven women found dead in the Jennings area since 2005. Monday evening, Jeff Davis Parish Deputy Coroner, Dr. Charles Deese, confirmed the identity of the body recovered Saturday as Gary.

While preliminary autopsy results have not yet been released to law enforcement, this new development comes as no surprise. You'll remember officials said tattoos found on the recovered body were matches of those Brittney Gary was known to have had. But in the end, it's believed that dental and medical records helped confirm her identity.

All the women traveled in the same circle and led similar lifestyles. Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff Ricky Edwards says while he has his own theories, he's not ready to say this is the work of a serial killer.

"I'm not a fool to believe that they are not connected, but I don't have the evidence to connect it. Until that time that I have the forensic scientific evidence to use in court to link them... I'm not going to say that," explained Edwards.

Gary's body was recovered nearly two weeks after she went missing in a field on Keystone Road just off Highway 1126. Like the other victims she too was dumped in areas right off of mainstream highways.

"We do have a couple of people who have said that they have seen some activity, we're following up on that and trying to get that information, trying to get that evidence, so we can follow up with that," said Edwards.

But unlike the other victims, Edwards says they have a specific timeline to work with in Brittney's case. Starting from the time she disappeared after purchasing minutes for her cell phone at the Jennings Family Dollar to when her body was found.

"That fact alone gives us a timeline that we can put more things together that we have not had in the past... So we are looking at that, a question was posed earlier as to how many had been reported missing? This was the first one where there was a report of an actual time and a finality," said Edwards.

Over the past three years, investigators have interviewed more than 200 people. With the FBI, State Police, Attorney General's Office and a private investigator now aggressively following leads, you can expect that list to keep growing.

"We're not closing our minds to anything, we've got several hundred years of experience working on it and we're going to continue working on it tirelessly until we come and bring this person or persons to justice," said Edwards.

Meanwhile Sheriff Edwards says the case is starting to get national inquiries from major networks and news outlets, including "America's Most Wanted."