Man linked to Reserve couple’s killing pleads guilty
Published 12:07 am Saturday, August 15, 2015
NEW ORLEANS — A New Orleans man who abandoned a stolen van containing blood remnants of a murdered Reserve couple pleaded guilty in federal court this week.
Frank Mike Jr., 46, of New Orleans pleaded guilty Wednesday to interstate transportation of a stolen 2010 Dodge Caravan van, which he admitted taking from Louisiana to Georgia, according to U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite.
The van was found, investigators said, to contain blood samples matching Kenneth and Lakeitha Joseph of Reserve.
The bodies of the Reserve married couple were found separately last year, his on March 22, 2014, and hers on March 10, 2014, in the Intercostal Waterway in New Orleans East.
The homicide investigation into who killed Kenneth and Lakeitha gained momentum with Mike’s April 22, 2014, arrest.
Family members Kenneth Joseph, 34, and Lakeitha Joseph, 29, reported the couple missing Feb. 19, 2014, after they had not been heard from since the previous evening.
The van Mike pleaded guilty to dumping belongs to Kenneth’s sister, who told investigators Kenneth often borrowed her vehicle and would return it before morning the next day. She said he borrowed it at approximately 6:30 p.m. Feb. 18 and never returned.
Their bodies were eventually found the next month, and the Orleans Parish Coroner ruled the cause of death in both cases as drowning.
Forensic testing revealed blood samples taken from the stolen van matched the Joseph’s DNA.
On Feb. 27, 2014, the missing Caravan was recovered by the Fulton County Police Department in College Park, Ga., at an apartment complex.
Investigators discovered the van had been parked at the Travelodge Hotel in College Park.
Video surveillance at the Travelodge from Feb. 21, 2014, showed Mike driving the van into the hotel parking lot.
U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance scheduled Mike’s sentencing for Dec. 16, 2015.
He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Numerous other suspects, including Steven Bradley, Horatio Johnson, Brittany Martin and Amir Ybarra have been charged for various roles in the killings and their cases are still being adjudicated.
Ybarra remains at large.