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No charges pursued at this time, Harson says

Sat, Sep 29, 2012

Who Got Busted?

According to The Advocate,  prosecutors will not pursue charges at this time against any of the four people arrested in the disappearance of 15-year-old Keiosha Marie Felix, 15th Judicial District Attorney Mike Harson said Friday.

Prosecutor’s earlier this month dropped counts of second-degree kidnapping and simple rape against Leon Wilkerson Jr., who dated Felix’s aunt, Patricia Andrus.

Felix was in the state’s custody and was last seen April 30 leaving her aunt’s home in the Duson area while on a weekend pass from the state, authorities have said.

Duson Police, in an investigation that has now been called into question, also arrested Andrus; her daughter, Portia Felix; and Wilkerson’s brother, Ronald Wilkerson, on various counts related to Felix’s disappearance.

Harson characterized the evidence against them as “unsubstantiated hearsay” and said the investigation has not uncovered enough information at this time to pursue criminal charges against anyone.

“The unfortunate thing is that these individuals were arrested and paraded before the public as individuals who had committed a crime based on faulty allegations,” said Andrus’ attorney, Valex Amos.

The former lead investigator, Duson Police Lt. Gerald Credeur, was suspended this month by the Duson Board of Aldermen after Police Chief Frank Andrew accused him of improper arrests, giving false testimony and making an illegal search and seizure during the investigation.

The suspension is with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

The Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office has since taken the lead in the investigation and is working with the FBI, State Police, the Sheriff’s Office and the Duson Police Department.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Kip Judice said Friday that the investigation is focused on finding Felix and no one is being investigated as having a role in her disappearance.

“As of right now, we do not have a target to any criminal investigation,” he said.

Judice said that could change, depending on what Felix may tell investigators if she is found.

“Once we find Keiosha, we will have a lot of answers,” he said.

Judice said investigators have been receiving several tips that Felix is in the Baton Rouge area.

“There is not physical evidence, but that is where the tips appear to be heading,” he said.

Judice said all the tips have been general in natural.

“They’re are not giving us a street or saying that they saw her at this restaurant,” he said.

But he said the volume of tips from the Baton Rouge area have led investigators to put more focus on that area.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the girl’s safe return.

Anyone with information regarding the case or Felix’s whereabouts is asked to contact the FBI New Orleans Division; the Lafayette Resident Agency during normal business hours at  (337) 233-2164 or after hours at  (504) 816-3000; Lafayette Crime Stoppers at  (337) 232-8477; or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at  (800) 843-5678.

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