Updated, suspects found!

A torso washed up on the beach at Pass Christian, Mississippi, about 50 miles from where she first went missing in New Orleans, Louisiana. Unfortunately the body belonged to a beautiful exotic dancer and stripper named Jaren Lockhart (photos below), a loving daughter, sister, friend, and mother to her little girl. She had been missing for days, and the terrible find confirmed the worst nightmares for her family and friends who knew her.

Photo: Jaren Lockhart

Authorities still do not know why she was killed, but her body will now provide evidence that the criminal responsible never expected to be found. They know now that she was stabbed in the back, and that her body was dismembered and buried at sea, perhaps in a bag of some kind sunken with weights. Now several parts have washed ashore, including the torso and thigh. They were meant to stay hidden forever at the bottom of the ocean, and now there is a very nervous murderer on the loose whom can expect to be found. [Update: Police are questioning Margaret Sanchez and Terry Christopher Speaks, both age 28. Speaks is a sex offender from North Carolina]

Biography: Jaren Ann Lockhart was a 22-year old woman originally from Springfield, Louisiana who was making a living in New Orleans as a dancer/stripper in men’s clubs. At the time she was working at a club called Temptations on Bourbon Street, where another girl had been killed in recent months. People wonder if the two cases are linked.

She had a beautiful daughter named Rylie who is just 3-years old and will now grow up not knowing her mother except through family, friends, and photos. You can see her picture below and how wonderfully her mom loved her. Her sister Andrea Ellen posted a loving tribute to Jaren on her Facebook page with more pictures. The quote on her profile page is very poignant. “Live life to the fullest because you are never promised tomorrow.”

She was living at the time with her boyfriend (and fiance) who happens to also be the father of the baby. They had reportedly been together a long time. We believe that his name is Jeremy Foster, who says that the last time he saw Jaren was when she took a taxi ride to her job on Bourbon Street, but he says she never made it home from work. Possibly a customer of the club preyed on the woman, something that detectives are undoubtedly considering quite closely. There is another report from police who say that she left work early in the morning with a man and was last seen leaving a motel on Tulane Avenue in New Orleans.

Jaren was a gorgeous, petite woman who stood 5’3″ tall and weighed about 120 pounds. Her hair color varied from blond to black to occasionally red. She was a free spirit with body art and piercings in her nipples and belly button, which was described by a friend this way in an effort to help locate and later identify her:

“Her navel and breast had piercing. One of her ears has piercing all the way up the earlobe. Her tattoos consist of one arm has a sleeve, her back, maybe on her stomach. Most of her tattoos were on her arms, ankle area of her legs and her feet. She stood about 5’2″, small build, her hair was dark underneath with chunky blond streaks on the top. She is a little girl.”

Jaren’s Facebook page and MySpace pages are set to private so we won’t link them. The Facebook page shows a picture with her little 3-year old daughter while the older MySpace page shows her on all fours like a sex kitten, perhaps in her wilder days. You can see that black and white image below.

There are no words for a time like this from people who don’t know her. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose a daughter just entering the prime of her life, or lose a sister and best friend. And then there is little Rylie who will always wonder why. Reader thoughts and condolences for Jaren Lockhart are welcome. When we know what the family is doing for burial services or setting up a fund in Jaren’s name, we will add the information to this article for those who want to help.

Update: persons of interest have been identified in the case, which you can see in a video here. One is a pretty blond woman who was identified as a street performer, and the other a man who worked as a bouncer at another nearby club. Police have since identified Margaret Sanchez and Terry Christopher Speaks as suspects in the case.

(click twice to enlarge pictures in the photo gallery)

Video Report