GULFPORT, Miss. – Human remains that washed ashore on multiple beaches in Mississippi are believed to belong to a New Orleans woman who went missing last week, authorities say.
Fox 8 reports though DNA results have not conclusively determined the dismembered remains are 22-year-old Jaren Lockhart's, investigators say they strongly believe that is the case.
"Although we haven't done any DNA to positively connect these remains to the torso we will continue to do that and confirm that with DNA, but the circumstances are very, very strong that this is her," said Hancock County Sheriff's office lead investigator Glenn Grannan told Fox 8.
On Thursday, a human torso washed ashore in Hancock County, Mississippi. On Saturday, a human head was found in nearby Harrison County, along with pieces of two legs, NOLA.com reports. A third piece of leg was found floating in a harbor.
Authorities were able to identify the head found by the tattoos on the neck, which matched Lockhart's description, NOLA.com reported. Authorities also found clothing that matched the description of what Lockhart was wearing when she disappeared, Fox 8 reports.
Lockhart was last seen late Tuesday night taking a cab from a motel in New Orleans to the Bourbon St. nightclub where she worked. Her boyfriend called police when he was unable to contact her and grew concerned.
Investigators say they are now focusing on finding Lockhart's killer.
"Our primary focus up to this point had been identifying the victim about midway last night into our investigation concerning that we started to switch focus to try and determine who is responsible for this heinous act," Grannan told Fox 8.