Joseph case becomes murder investigation

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 29, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE – With the discovery of the bodies of missing Reserve couple Kenneth and Lakeitha Joseph in the Intracoastal Waterway in New Orleans, the mystery surrounding how the van they were known to be in ended up in Georgia has been amplified.

The Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office announced Tuesday afternoon that the man’s body found in the Intracoastal Waterway in New Orleans on March 22 was identified as Kenneth Joseph. Coroner’s Office investigator John Gagliano said Joseph’s body had likely been in the water for weeks.

The body of his wife, LaKeitha Joseph, was discovered on March 10 in the same waterway.

The official cause of death for both was drowning.

On Feb. 27 St. John Parish the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives received information from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia that the van the Josephs were known to be driving was located in good condition at an apartment complex parking lot in College Park, Ga.

Officials from the St. John Sheriff’s Office said the van has been processed for evidence but that no information will be released at this time about what evidence, if any, was found.

Family members of Kenneth Joseph, 34, and Lakeitha Joseph, 29, reported the couple missing on Feb. 19 after they had not heard from them since Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m.

Kenneth’s sister told investigators that Kenneth often borrowed her vehicle and would return it before morning the next day. She said that he borrowed her vehicle Feb. 18 at approximately 6:30 p.m. and had not returned the vehicle.

St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives are now working this case with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office and New Orleans Police Department.

St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre urged anyone with information about this case to contact his office.

“We believe there are individuals who could give us a tip to completely solve this case,” Tregre said. He said the Sheriff’s Office will continue to work hard on this case everyday until there are answers.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office tip line at 985-359-8477 or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.