BREAKING: Two suspects sought in Westlake homicide

Published 12:02 pm Friday, February 3, 2023

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office is searching for Justin Ned and Artoria “Tori” Lachney, both 22, in connection with the death of Demarcus Ardoin, 25. Ardoin was found dead in his home on Westwood Road in Westlake around midnight Tuesday after a neighbor reported suspicious behavior.

“Anyone knowing where these individuals are should contact us,” Sheriff Tony Mancuso said at a Friday morning news conference. “If you help in any way, give them money for a hotel room or vehicles to get in or out of Lake Charles, you can be charged with helping.”

Mancuso said the murder is drug-related and additional people may be involved.

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The news conference was called to update the public, and also a reminder that the sheriff’s office has to move cautiously to make a case to support the charges and ultimately get convictions. Some information could not be released at this time.

“If they want to come forward and clear themselves, they have the right to do that,” Mancuso said.

Ned is facing charges of principal to second-degree murder with bond set at $650,000. Lachney is facing the charge of accessory after the fact to second-degree murder with the bond set at $65,000. Detectives issued warrants Friday signed by Judge Tony Fazzio.

Mancuso noted the ages of the suspects with dismay.

“It’s easy to sit here as sheriff and say they all deserve to go to jail and should have the book thrown at them. That is what the public pays us to do, to go out and solve cases.”

Nevertheless, he sees the human side, the grief.

“Do they deserve to be brought to justice? Absolutely, but this doesn’t affect just one family in our community. It affects the families of all of those involved. Save everybody the grief, parents, grandparents, friends. Help us get to the bottom of this.”

He said CPSO has been working 24 hours a day to solve the case, with assistance from the Lake Charles Police Department because of an unrelated murder case that ties into the bigger picture.

Mancuso said Ned and Lachney have a violent crime history. Demarcus Ardoin did not.

“I want to add that any time we have violent criminals, they will be dealt with cautiously, felony stops, guns drawn because of the concern that they might try to kill one of us.”