Skip to comments.Apparent Murder in Lafayette, La., Linked to Serial Killer
Posted on 12/23/2002 11:25:53 PM PST by hoosierskypilotEdited on 04/22/2004 12:35:20 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
LAFAYETTE, La. — Authorities said Monday they believe a woman whose body was found last month in a field near Lafayette was slain by a serial killer responsible for the deaths of three other women.
The apparent fourth victim, Trineisha Dene Colomb, 23, was reported missing Nov. 22 after her car was found in Grand Coteau, a small town near Lafayette. Two days later, her body was found about 20 miles away by a hunter.
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Louisiana serial killer, victim linked
Woman is fourth slain since September 2001
LAFAYETTE, La. - The serial killer tied to the deaths of three women near Baton Rouge struck again in the Lafayette area last month, authorities said Monday.
Trineisha Dene Colomb, 23, of Lafayette was reported missing Nov. 22 after her car was found abandoned in Grand Coteau. Two days later, a hunter found the woman's body about 20 miles away in a wooded field in Scott.
DNA evidence taken from the scene matched genetic evidence from the other serial killings, Lt. Craig Stansbury said.
A witness reported seeing a white Chevrolet step-side pickup parked behind Ms. Colomb's abandoned car at the dead end of a gravel road, authorities said. Witnesses in the other cases described a similar truck.
"We need the public to reflect on those dates and report if they noticed a truck matching the description in the area," Lafayette Parish Sheriff Mike Neustrom said.
Lafayette is about an hour's drive west from Baton Rouge.
The first three victims were linked by DNA this summer, setting Baton Rouge residents on edge and leading to the creation of a task force to solve the crimes.
Gina Wilson Green, 41, was found strangled in her home Sept. 24, 2001. Charlotte Murray Pace, 22, was found stabbed to death in her home May 31. Pam Kinamore, 44, was abducted from her home July 12. Her throat was slit and her body dumped about 30 miles away from Baton Rouge off the interstate toward Lafayette.
Authorities say Ms. Colomb died from blunt trauma to the head.
Ann Pace, mother of Charlotte Murray Pace, said she received a phone call from a Baton Rouge police officer on Monday telling her that Ms. Colomb had been linked to the serial killer.
"Of course, I almost had a heart attack, because I recognized his voice from previous times, and I thought they were calling to tell me they caught him [the killer]. But he said he had bad news," Ann Pace said.
She said she called Ms. Colomb's father to offer condolences and the support of the other victims' families.
"He was nice, and I just wanted him to know that all of us were out there and support each other and contact each other regularly," Ms. Pace said.
"I'm just so sorry because if they'd caught him anywhere along the way, everybody else would be alive," she said, crying. "And I know they're doing their best, and you can't do anything with information you don't have."
The families of the slain women have searched for links that might have connected them and might identify the killer. Ms. Colomb and Ms. Pace were less than a year apart in age; Ms. Pace was a month away from her 23rd birthday when she was killed.
Location no surprise
Ann Pace said she wasn't surprised the killer struck in Lafayette.
"It would have surprised me if it happened in Atlanta or Kansas City. It did not surprise me as much that it happened somewhere as close to Baton Rouge as that," she said.
Charlotte Murray Pace's roommate, who found Ms. Pace's body, is from Lafayette. Ms. Colomb's brother had recently moved to Baton Rouge. Those are among the strings of connections found so far, Ann Pace said.
Lt. Stansbury said that Lafayette Parish detectives had exhausted all other leads and that the DNA match brought authorities no closer to catching the killer.
A hotline set up after earlier killings to take information from the public has received thousands of calls. Police said they had checked out thousands of leads, but there have been no arrests.
"Our detectives will be working with Baton Rouge police to develop any type of leads," Lt. Stansbury said.
Ms. Colomb was known by her middle name, Dene.
She was in the Army for about two years and planned to join the Marine Corps in February, relatives have said. She tried out for the reality television show Survivor by videotaping herself wrestling a live pig in the mud.
Relatives described Ms. Colomb as a loner who made friends via the Internet. Investigators say they checked her computer and found no plausible leads.
This is the first confirmed slaying to be linked to the others in four months, and police had been warning Baton Rouge residents to remain on guard despite what appeared to be a lull in the attacks.
Ann Pace said family members of the victims worried that residents had let their guard down.
"It's just human nature, because you just don't believe things like that happen to you," she said.
Because of Louisiana State University, "There're so many kids in Baton Rouge ... and they're the first to believe in their invincibility," she said.
Another body found
Meanwhile, the nude body of 29-year-old Tawanda Renee Hayes was found early Monday in Baton Rouge. Detectives were investigating it as a homicide, but there was no immediate indication of a link to the serial killer. Police have eliminated the serial killer as a suspect in the unsolved murders of several women during the summer in Baton Rouge.