Detectives report progress in cold case

Vernon Parish detectives believe they are making new progress in their renewed investigation of a cold case from 1980.

Chief Detective Rhonda Jordan said that since launching a new investigation into the death of 15-year-old Darlene Howard, cold case team members have been successful at locating witnesses or acquaintances of the victim listed in the original case file, as well as “persons of interest.”

“We have interviewed two persons of interest in the case and we believe that one of the two warrants closer examination by investigators,” Jordan stated.

Jordan said that detectives have been traveling out of state to conduct interviews with the persons listed in the original case file, and she said being able to locate those individuals has been half of the battle for detectives.

“The most difficult aspect of working a cold case is locating persons listed in the case file. Often times, people relocate or have name changes so that aspect of the investigation has been very time consuming,” she stated.

According to Sheriff Sam Craft, Howard was last seen by her mother on April 15, 1980 at her residence in the Sandy Hill Community.

Howard’s mother told investigators that her daughter went to go put a letter in the mailbox, and never returned. Her body was found on April 27 in a wooded area on West Boundary Road not far from her home, and Craft said he believes the killer was someone the girl knew.

“The crime was committed in a somewhat personal nature, and we believe she was face to face with her killer at the time that this happened,” Craft stated.

He said Howard suffered defensive wounds to her arms and was stabbed multiple times.

“We believe she put up a struggle and fought for her life,” he stated.

The case was first reopened in Nov. 2017 after Craft first announced his creation of the cold case team. In addition to Howard’s case, the team is also looking into several other cold cases that span from 1980 through 1990. He said the new ability to use DNA evidence in those cases leads him to believe they have “a strong chance” of being solved at last.

””Cold Case Darlene Howard

SportsPlus

life

Chicken Fest: See plenty of poultry in motion Saturday at West Cal Arena

Local News

Enterprise Boulevard project goal: Strengthen connection between north, south LC

Local News

PHOTO GALLERY: Victory Day at Cowboy Stadium

Local News

Victory Day: McNeese players create field of smiles for special needs fans

Local News

Multiple failures, multiple investigations: Unraveling the attempted assassination of Donald Trump

Crime

7/17: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

McNeese Sports

Fixer Upper

life

Library invites feedback on resident needs, library priorities

Local News

Speaker Johnson: ‘We will make American safe again’

life

PHOTO GALLERY: Summer Culinary Camp

Local News

Parlez-vous francais? French table group meets to practice their French-speaking skills

life

Exchange project allows teenagers to visit different states for free

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column: Assassination turmoil averted

Local News

Candidates begin qualifying for November election today

Business

UPDATE: Tower implosion will take less than 30 seconds

Business News

Capital One Tower to come down in September

Crime

Alleged gunman in gang-related shooting arrested

life

Perfect Friday weather claim might not be so perfect in SW La.

Crime

7/16: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

In beachy Galveston, locals buckle down without power after Beryl’s blow during peak tourist season

Local News

Westlake Council: Golf carts on city roads not legal yet

Local News

Republican convention focuses on immigration a day after a bandaged Trump makes triumphant entrance

Local News

Vance is a relative political unknown. He’s been asked to help Trump avenge his 2020 loss

Crime

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office unhindered by crime lab backlog