WALKER – While investigators await a cause of death of a woman found eight days ago under Interstate 12, the Walker Police Department posted a notice on social media to quash rumors of a serial killer.
Capt. John Sharp, public information officer, posted a note on the department’s Facebook page saying there is no serial killer.
“Social media is a blessing and a curse,” Sharp said Monday, “Rumors can circulate like wildfire.”
On Saturday, the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office identified the woman as Jennifer Annette Blount, 30, of Denham Springs, Sharp said.
“Ms. Blount was reported missing by her family on Dec. 4,” Sharp said.
Employees of Gravity Drainage District 5 found the body on Wednesday, Jan. 25. while inspecting for debris under the bridge.
Sharp’s post on the Police Department’s Facebook page read, “By now, you may have received a social media post from a friend saying that there are several girls missing from the area, that police believe the cases are related and that police fear that a ‘serial killer’ is on the loose.”
“THIS IS TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY UNTRUE! There ARE NOT several girls who have disappeared from the area. We DO NOT believe that any disappearances are related,” the post said.
“And most importantly, we DO NOT believe, and HAVE NO REASON TO BELIEVE that there is a serial killer on the loose.
“Such inaccurate information can cause widespread concern and even panic. If you receive a social media post like the one described, THINK before you forward it on.”
Sharp also wrote the public can call the Police Department to verify any information before passing it on.
“The coroner has a number of tests to do to determine the cause of death,” which may take a couple of weeks, Sharp said. “Until then, we have to be patient.”
“It’s not like ‘CSI: Miami’ where I can check DNA in the back of my Tahoe and know immediately who it is,” Sharp said.
Sharp said he has seen the posts on Facebook about other girls supposedly missing from the area and people saying their disappearances are all related.
There are no missing women in this area, Sharp said.
“If they are (missing), we don’t know who they are,” he said.
Last week, the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office posted a notice on its Facebook page about the disappearance of Loren Cureton, 19, of Denham Springs. The Walker police also posted it on its page.
Cureton was found safe, Sharp said.
Ascension Parish had a missing woman a day of two after the discovery of Blount’s body, but she was also found, he added.
Any suspicious death is investigated as a homicide until the police learn differently, Sharp said.
Police have received tips and they are checking the information, he said.
Police Chief David Addison had said earlier, “We owe it to the memory of Ms. Blount and to her family to determine how this tragedy occurred and provide the family with closure.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Ms. Blount’s family and friends … as they grieve her loss,” Addison said.
“There remain many unanswered questions concerning Ms. Blount’s disappearance and her death,” Sharp said.
Anyone with information concerning the disappearance and death of Jennifer Blount is asked to call Walker police at (225) 664-3125 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-STOP.